Vein Services, a service of NC Baptist Hospital, provides comprehensive care for a wide range of venous problems. We specialize in the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, and advanced venous stasis disease.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are large bulging veins seen immediately under the skin. These veins result from malfunctioning valves that create high pressure and pooling of blood. The great saphenous vein is the most common culprit. This vein runs from the foot to the groin along the inner part of the thigh.
The great saphenous vein is usually not visible. However, high pressure and flow reversal in this vein can damage normally small tributary veins and cause them to bulge. This causes the characteristic appearance and symptoms of varicose veins. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to disfigurement, pain, and disability.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins (or telangiectasias) are small red or blue veins that appear on the skin. These veins are usually caused by small abnormal veins under the skin. These veins are usually not visible, and may develop even when the major leg veins are normal. Spider veins are usually a cosmetic concern. However, large clusters are sometimes associated with pain, itching, and stinging.
Patients with vein disease seek treatment due to either cosmetic concerns or physical complaints. The development of symptoms related to vein disease is often very slow. Because of this insidious course, many patients do not realize the full impact of their problem until after treatment.
Vein Services Approach to Treatment
Varicose veins are a significant cosmetic concern. However, the underlying venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins may lead to serious medical problems. The abnormal flow and blood pooling that result from the valvular malfunction can cause thrombophlebitis (painful, inflamed, thrombosed veins) and leg swelling. As the severity of the disease process increases, bleeding can develop from superficial varicosities.
The high venous pressure, particularly at the level of the ankle, may cause a problem known as chronic venous insufficiency. This may result in inflammation that causes skin thickening and discoloration. In more severe cases, skin breakdown and ulceration may result. Venous stasis ulcers require aggressive treatment to avoid enlargement and infection. Ultimately, the underlying abnormal veins must be treated to allow adequate healing.
Before undergoing any medical treatment, you should have a clear understanding of the problem, treatment options and the expected outcome. Dr. John Regan has extensive experience treating a wide range of arterial and venous diseases and specializes in the treatment of superficial venous diseases. As a patient of Dr. Regan’s, you will undergo an extensive evaluation that includes discussion of your health history, a physical exam and a detailed venous ultrasound exam.
This thorough evaluation allows Dr. Regan to accurately diagnose the source of your varicose veins and plan the best treatment. A great deal of time is spent with each patient to assure not only the highest quality of care, but also to make the patient an informed consumer.