Spider veins, medically known as telangiectases are dilated capillary veins less than 2mm. in diameter. They are small blue to red appearing blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin and occur either in lines or web-like patterns. They are usually visible on the legs but sometimes are visible around the nose and lips and are commonly referred to as “broken veins.” While they can ache, burn or itch now and then, but they are usually not symptomatic. Spider veins are not harmful and are simply unsightly. The cause is largely genetic but can also be due to pregnancy, childbirth, use of birth-control pills, estrogen-replacement therapy, prolonged standing,
physical trauma, lifestyle changes, aging and use of corticosteroids.
Vein disorders are usually a sign of an underlying physiologic abnormality. The most common problem is malfunction of the greater saphenous vein. One-way bicuspid valves within this vein do not close to hold the column of blood, creating excess pressure within this trunk vein and all branches.
Treatment of vein problems is directed toward the cause, symptoms, and cosmetic appearance. The underlying cause must be corrected initially. Often the symptoms and the appearance improve after this treatment alone. Dr. Hong Messier uses all of the modern treatment options available today, including laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation of the saphenous veins. She uses injection treatments and laser treatments for spider veins. She also performs the mini phlebectomy operation to remove unsightly larger varicose veins. Treatment is individualized for each patient, to provide the best possible result.