Varicose veins are enlarged, superficial veins in which blood flow is slowed, or even reversed. Varicose disease results from stretching of the vein walls and malfunction of the valves that normally direct blood back to the heart.
Varicose veins are caused by venous incompetence or reflux. Reflux, simply put, is blood flowing down a vein rather than upward toward the heart. This occurs when the one-way valves in the vein fail to support the blood as it is propelled upward. Factors associated with the development of reflux include being female, increased age, pregnancy, blood clots and jobs requiring long periods of standing.
Untreated, varicose veins may lead to other health problems, they can lead to swelling, ulceration, bleeding and an increased risk for blood clots. But these symptoms may be avoided when varicose veins are treated early enough.
Varicose veins can cause pain, heaviness, swelling, aching, burning, tingling and itching. They often produce leg discomfort or restlessness at night. When severe, they can lead to rashes, ankle discoloration, phlebitis, bleeding and leg ulcers. Varicose veins can also create a general feeling of fatigue. Their appearance may be cosmetically unappealing and result in lifestyle restrictions (like avoidance of shorts or bathing suits).
Dr. Williams performs a focused medical history and examination. South Valley Vein Center also uses the most advanced technology available for evaluating varicose veins: Duplex ultrasound. This simple, painless test measures the direction of blood flow and shows any venous reflux… precisely.
Unlike the old-fashioned vein stripping procedures that required a hospital stay and weeks of recovery, today’s vein treatment is simple and efficient. We perform our nonsurgical vein treatments in the comfort and convenience of our Bakersfield office. We use only local anesthesia, so you’ll walk out of our office shortly after your procedure with no major downtime, incisions or scarring.
Generally, large, bulging varicose veins can be treated in 1 to 2 sessions. The number of sessions depends on the magnitude and complexity of your vein problem and the treatment we determine will be the most effective for your condition. Only one leg is treated at a time.
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are small reddish-purple veins on the surface of the skin. They may appear anywhere on the body and vary from a single red line to dense purple clusters. Spider veins pose no significant health risks, but sometimes cause burning, itching, stinging and contribute to a feeling of leg heaviness or fatigue.
There are two options in the treatment of spider veins:
Sclerotherapy has been and remains the gold standard in the treatment of spider and reticular veins. The technique involves inserting a tiny needle into the vein and injecting a solution causing the vein to close. The body will then absorb the vein.
Laser treatment is an alternative solution and is often used to treat the tiny red veins, especially those on the face.
For spider veins, most people need 3 to 5 sessions, each lasting 20-30 minutes. The number of sessions depends on the magnitude and complexity of your vein problem. The treatments are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart.
It depends on the treatment and the individual. With microphlebectomy, the veins are gone when the procedure is complete (one of the advantages of this technique). After sclerotherapy, small veins may disappear in 2 to 3 weeks, while larger ones may take up to 8 weeks. Some may take as long as 8 months before all pigmentation disappears. Dr. Williams will discuss his prognosis with you.
Most patients experience little or no pain, and any discomfort lasts only a fraction of a second. Topical anesthesia or ice packs can be applied for pain-sensitive patients. While the amount of post-treatment pain varies from one patient to another, most require only acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen for any discomfort.
Treatment of large, bulging veins is often covered by insurance, including Medicare. We will try to determine this at your consultation. Reticular and spider vein treatments are not covered by insurance. You will be given an estimate of cost at your consultation.