Are Spider Veins Different From Varicose Veins?

Patients often call to ask the vein specialists at Calcagno & Rossi Vein Treatment Center this important question: What’s the difference between spider veins and varicose veins? Other questions we hear include:

    • Are they both cosmetic issues?
    • Are they a serious condition?
    • Will they go away by themselves?
    • How long before I should seek an expert medical opinion?
    • And will my insurance cover this procedure?

Treatments for Spider Veins
Spider veins are mostly a cosmetic condition, so they’re not as serious compared to varicose veins. Spider veins are those blue-green-red, small and web-like lines that look like a spider web or a tree with branches. While they have no direct effect on your health, they are unsightly and can typically appear on your face, thighs, legs, ankles, and your feet.

The typical treatment for spider veins –- as well as for some varicose veins — is sclerotherapy. This is a quick, in-office procedure that does not require anesthesia and generally takes less than an hour. Using very fine needles and guided by ultrasound, sclerotherapy involves the injection of a foamy chemical solution (a sclerosant) directly into your spider vein. Over a few weeks’ time to a few months’, these injections can cause the spider veins to shrink, then gradually fade away. Our patients typically require two to four sessions, depending on the severity of your spider veins. Because sclerotherapy is categorized as a cosmetic procedure, it is not typically covered by your insurance.

Treatments for Varicose Veins.
Varicose veins can either be visible on your skin as ropey, bulging, swollen blue to purple veins, or they can be invisible (under the skin). Either way, they’re a symptom of venous reflux, a vein disease that can lead to more serious medical conditions such as thrombosis (a blood clot). Other vein disease symptoms include pain, throbbing, burning, fatigue, tenderness, cramping, restless leg syndrome, skin discoloration and bleeding ankle ulcers.

Today, VNUS Closure®, also known as radiofrequency ablation, is the most popular state-of-the-art procedure. It offers quick, highly effective, in-office treatments using a local anesthetic and radiofrequency heat to close off the damaged vein. The blood in that vein then gets re-routed. Each VNUS Closure typically take 30 to 60 minutes and lets you resume full activity immediately following the procedure. Most patients report relief in pre-operative symptoms immediately after the procedure. Best of all, varicose veins treatments are medically necessary procedures that are usually covered by your insurance.

Get a Free Vein Screening by a CRVTC Vein Specialist.
To properly diagnose your spider veins or varicose veins, you should contact an vein expert. Dr. David Calcagno & Dr. John Rossi, co-founders of Calcagno & Rossi Vein Treatment Center, are both double Board-Certified by the American Board of Surgery and Diplomates of the American Board of Phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. In fact, they’ve performed more varicose vein procedures than anyone in Central PA.

So call them today for a free consultation on September 23rd or 24th in our Mechanicsburg office at 717.791-2800. Or complete our online appointment form.