Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are small, thin blood vessels visible beneath the skin. Most spider veins are caused by venous hypertension, which is high pressure in one portion of your venous system. They appear most commonly on the face or legs, and may look like a series of lines, tree branches or a spider web-like shape, with a red or blue color.
While most cases are purely a cosmetic concern, the appearance of spider veins may be a sign of a deeper venous insufficiency. For this reason, any underlying problem causing the spider veins must be addressed before treatment may begin. Dr. Gitter will perform an ultrasound procedure as part of the initial examination.
If the ultrasound fails to show underlying venous insufficiency, then the spider veins are usually being formed due to genetic predisposition, pregnancy, or hormone replacement therapy.
There are multiple modalities used to treat spider veins. Combination therapy, which includes treating the spider veins with a laser or other non chemical modality, followed by an injection of sclerosing solution into the associated reticular or “feeder” vein, is felt to be the most effective treatment regimen. This procedure is performed in the doctor’s office and takes approximately 20-25 minutes. Most patients require two to four treatment sessions in order to achieve their desired results.
At the Gitter Vein Institute, we use the most innovative modalities of spider vein treatment available today. These include pulse diode laser and radio-frequency ablation. These modalities are often used in combination with foam or liquid sclerotherapy. Dr. Gitter will recommend which modality or combination therapy is best for you.