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Vein Institute of Utah

Common questions about varicose and spider veins.

The Vein Institute of Utah wants to make sure you have the answers you need about varicose veins, spider veins and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Below are questions we often receive. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact us at (801) 386-5903.

Varicose veins

Spider veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, weakened, dilated veins that no longer carry blood from the legs back up to the heart effectively. As a result, blood and pressure in the legs (venous hypertension) build up from gravity.

Varicose veins commonly cause symptoms in the legs including:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Heaviness
  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Swelling

These symptoms are usually worse at the end of the day but improve with rest or by elevating your legs. Effective treatment of these diseased veins usually eliminates the symptoms.

If left untreated, varicose veins always worsen and may lead to major complications, such as:

  • Clots
  • Skin inflammation and even limb-threatening disease or amputation
  • Venous ulceration in later stages of disease

To prevent long-term complications, schedule an appointment now with the Vein Institute of Utah for a free vein screening.

What causes varicose veins?

Several factors contribute to varicose veins. The most important, but unchangeable, factor is genetics. A genetic tendency causes veins to weaken and wear out over time.

The greater this genetic tendency, the sooner it happens.

Other contributing factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Medications containing estrogen or progesterone
  • Previous blood clots

In most cases, you can’t do anything to prevent varicose veins. But if you receive effective treatment early enough, complications such as blood clots and ulcers can be prevented and symptoms can be relieved.

What makes Vein Institute of Utah unique for varicose vein treatment? What should I look for in a physician?

Dr. Hadjbian is one of only 600 physicians certified by the American Board of Phlebology  (vein medicine) in the United States and Canada. He was one of the first to have qualified for and passes the rigorous exam offered by the American College of Phlebology when it was first offered in 2008, just five short years ago.

Because he’s performed over 10,000 vein procedures, Dr. Hadjbian is one of the most experienced vein physicians in Utah. He and the Vein Institute of Utah provide you with personalized attention and build an individualized treatment plan specific to your needs. All of this is done in the comfortable, friendly atmosphere of our office with the help of our caring, highly trained professional staff.

The Vein Institute of Utah uses the most advanced, clinically proven medical technology available. Combining Endovenous Laser Ablation, Ultrasound-Guided Micro-Foam Chemical Ablation (also known as Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy), Endovenous Catheter Foam Ablation (which Dr. Hadjbian pioneered in Utah) and Ambulatory Phlebectomy, we can achieve results not possible with traditional, open surgery.

How will my blood circulate if I treat my varicose veins?

Varicose veins are diseased veins that no longer function properly. Once these diseased veins are treated, the blood will circulate in the remaining healthy veins. Treating varicose veins will improve your venous circulation. Check out here for more information about circulation.

Should I wait until I finish having children to get my diseased veins treated?

The short answer: No. Delaying treatment is similar to telling people with high blood pressure or diabetes to wait to treat their chronic disease. Treating damaged veins can help future pregnancies to be more bearable and slow down the disease. We recommend treatment at its earliest stages.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are abnormally dilated blood vessels in the skin. They usually appear on the legs but can also occur on the face, chest, arms, and back.

Contrary to what many doctors think, spider veins can cause the same symptoms as much larger varicose veins, including:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Heaviness
  • Fatigue in the legs

Although they may be symptomatic, spider veins are not usually a health hazard and do not lead to serious complications. In rare cases, they can bleed profusely after being injured. Otherwise, they are treated mostly as a cosmetic problem.

Spider veins appearing in unusual locations, such as the inside of the calf or ankle, can indicate a more serious vein problem. Treating these unusual spider veins may not be successful until the deeper vein problem is treated.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins may develop in three ways:

  • Tiny pre-existing veins can enlarge and become dilated over time
  • Your body actually grows new veins where it doesn’t need them – in the skin
  • Pregnancy, estrogen-containing medications, and fluctuating hormones may stimulate spider vein appearance; thus, spider veins are more common in women

Contrary to what many people believe, spider veins are not caused by crossing one’s legs or by years of excessive standing or sitting at work.

The tendency to develop abnormal veins is largely hereditary, and there is not much you can do to prevent them. Support hose, exercise and dietary supplements are helpful for symptoms but do not prevent new spider veins (or varicose veins) from appearing. In some cases, spider veins may indicate the presence of larger diseased veins underneath the skin.

Dr. Hadjbian may use ultrasound to search for any hidden diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, they need to be treated first, or spider vein treatment will be ineffective.