More than 80 million Americans suffer from some form of venous disease, including spider and varicose veins. The good news? At the UAB Vein Clinic, there is help, including cosmetic and minimally invasive treatment options. If you’ve considered getting treatment, why wait? Showing your legs some love now means you’ll be showing them off all summer long.
As the only comprehensive vein program in the state, the UAB Vein Clinic offers evaluations and treatments for the full spectrum of vein conditions, from very common spider and varicose veins to more serious problems like deep vein thrombosis.
Spider veins are small, thread-like veins that resemble a spider web and lie close to the skin. For some people, spider veins cause no symptoms except unsightliness. In other cases, spider veins can be associated with discomfort and other mild leg complaints. UAB offers several treatment options for spider veins, including Veinwave, which uses heat to shock the veins, causing them to disappear, and sclerotherapy, which involves injecting an irritant into the vein that cause it to regress over a few weeks.
Varicose veins are larger, bulging veins that can look like a cluster of grapes. In many cases, varicose veins cause symptoms, including leg discomfort, aching, burning, itching, throbbing, heaviness, tiredness, cramping, or swelling. There are several ways to prevent varicose veins, including regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, and compression stockings. Compression stockings are especially helpful if you stand for many hours each day. Although compression stockings can be purchased from a pharmacy, it is important to see a vein specialist to ensure proper fit and use. If preventive measures are unsuccessful, UAB offers several minimally invasive treatment options performed in clinic, including endovenous ablation (closure of vein) andmicrophlebectomy (varicose vein removal through tiny incisions).
A Thorough Diagnosis
While spider and varicose veins are sometimes an isolated problem, other times they can be a sign of more severe vein problems. Director of the UAB Vein Clinic Marc Passman, MD, says that diagnosing venous problems is like looking at a tree.
“Spider and varicose veins are like the leaves of the tree, but you really need to make sure the trunk and big limbs are okay first,” says Passman.
When meeting with a patient with spider or varicose veins for the first time, the vein specialists at UAB perform a thorough evaluation. A typical evaluation includes gathering the patient’s personal and family vein history, as well as an evaluation of the patient’s symptoms as they relate to exercise, heat, compression, and current medications. Doctors then conduct physical exams and perform ultrasound testing to determine extent of the vein problem and decide how to best treat a patient’s varicose and spider veins.
An appointment at the UAB Vein Clinic is all it takes to discover which treatment is best for you.