As with any medical procedure, you want to be fully informed. Reviewing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below is a great place to start. To learn more, request a free consultation.

What is the difference between varicose and spider veins?

Varicose veins are bulgy, swollen, dark blue or green veins that most often appear on our legs. Spider veins are similar but are red or blue in appearance and have a small branch-like appearance closer to the top of the skin.

What are the symptoms?

Varicose veins tend to be more uncomfortable than spider veins, but both conditions can feel heavy, swollen, fatigued, achy, and even itchy.

What treatments are available?

There are a variety of treatments available for varicose veins including compression therapy, thermal ablation, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy. Spider veins are typically treated through sclerotherapy. Your Health First Vascular & Vein Center physician can help you decide what treatment is right for you.

Is treatment right for me?

Treating varicose and spider veins is a very important and personal decision. It can affect your overall health, well-being, and confidence. It needs to be a treatment that you want for yourself. If you are embarrassed or uncomfortable about the appearance of your legs, you should, at the very least, come in for a free consultation to see if this is a good fit for you.

How long is recovery?

Depending on the treatment, recovery may be as little as a few days of avoiding strenuous exercise and wearing compression stockings as directed by your physician.

What is the cost? Will my insurance pay for the procedure?

Spider vein care is an elective treatment and may not be covered by insurance. Varicose veins however, could be caused by an underlying health condition. Most insurances cover varicose vein treatment if medically necessary. You'll need to check with your insurance provider about your personal insurance benefits. The cost for the procedures depends on the type and extent of treatment. If you're consulting with multiple physicians for care, be sure to inquire about all costs that will be involved, including their fees, tests, prescriptions, and post-treatment compression stockings so you'll have a clear understanding of what to expect.

Are varicose and spider veins hereditary?

In many cases they can be hereditary, but can also be the result of pregnancy, hormones, trauma, or long periods of standing or walking.

Can varicose and spider veins be prevented?

You may not be able to prevent unsightly varicose and spider veins, but you may be able to reduce your exposure by regularly walking if you sit for extended periods, wearing compression hose if you're going to be on your feet for a long time, elevating your feet when possible, and/or wearing sunscreen.

What causes varicose and spider veins?

There are many contributing factors such as heredity, pregnancy, hormones, trauma, and long periods of standing or walking but the underlying issue is circulation. When veins are functioning properly, a valve prevents blood from flowing backwards. A varicose vein however has a damaged or malfunctioning valve allowing blood to collect in the vein, which causes them to swell and turn darker in color. Spider veins are like varicose veins but much smaller and closer to the surface of the skin.

Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous?

Varicose veins are often uncomfortable and cause swelling, aching, and throbbing, but may also be the sign of something more serious leading to issues such as skin ulcers, bleeding, and/or blood clots. Spider veins are rarely a serious health concern but they can leave you with a burning or itching sensation, restlessness, and swelling, not to mention an unsightly appearance. The best choice in either case is to take the first step and meet with us for a free consultation.

Next Steps

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Health First Vascular & Vein physicians are trained to handle any level of care with results that leave you confident and healthy.

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Learn more about Health First Vascular & Vein in this informative brochure.


Quick Quiz

Take this quick quiz to see if you should schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.

Based on your answers, we recommend that you schedule an appointment so we can learn more and recommend treatments that will be right for you.

Based on your answers, you may not show signs of varicose or spider veins but we recommend you schedule an appointment so that we may be certain.


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