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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cause of varicose and spider veins?

Genetics is by far the most common cause of both varicose and spider veins. Most people at some point when learning about venous disease ask, “Is there anything that I can do to prevent more veins in the future.” Unfortunately losing weight, exercising or wearing support stockings does little to prevent your predisposition to create more veins. Becoming pregnant may increase or exacerbate your natural tendency to make new abnormal veins.

Does walking on concrete floors or hard floors or crossing your legs cause veins?

Heredity and pregnancy are the two most important reasons that people develop abnormal veins.

What is the latest ways that varicose veins are treated?

At the Happel Laser & Vein Center, we use the latest laser technology for the treatment of varicose veins. Often laser energy is applied inside the target vein via a minimally invasive catheter using ultrasound guidance. Subsequently, scerotherapy (injections of medicine) or the removal of veins though needle punctures called phlebectomy may be necessary depending on the individual case. Stripping is no longer performed at our center.

What could happen if I neglect my varicose veins?

Your veins will not go away if you try to ignore them. They will enlarge over time and become more symptomatic. Potential complications of neglected varicose veins include thrombophlebitis (blood clots in varicose veins), ulcerations or open sores which usually occur around the area of the ankle, hyperpigmentation or brown coloring of the skin which is permanent and bleeding.

Don’t I need all of these veins since they are large? Will it harm my circulation if these large abnormal veins are removed?

No. This is a very common question. There is a large network of both superficial and deep veins that act as “spares”. This network of normal veins that remain will take over and your circulation will be improved.

Is there anything that I can do to prevent new varicose or spider veins from coming back?

Unfortunately venous disease is incurable. As physicians, we can provide palliation and provide relief from your symptoms or improve their appearance. Eventually new veins may appear but there is not much you can do to prevent them since it is essentially an inherited condition. Early treatment is recommended if new veins occur to keep your legs healthy.