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1919 Riverside Drive Suite 211 Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 1A2 View Location

Varicose and spider veins

General

The experienced Medical Staff at Ottawa Vein and Cosmetic Medical Clinic is pleased to offer you complete care for your varicose and spider veins of the legs and face. We have been successfully treating patients for over 30 years.

On your first visit to our clinic a relevant medical history will be taken and a thorough examination of your legs and face (if needed) will be done.

A comprehensive explanation of the available treatments of the varicose and spider veins will be given to you and you will be able to ask as many questions as you wish.

The cost of treatment will be also explained to you.

The initial consultation will allow us to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your schedule and goals.

A typical appointment lasts approximately 15 minutes

What are Varicose and Spider Veins?

Veins are responsible for taking blood back from the extremities to the heart. They have a series of small valves to accomplish this.

In the legs there are two venous systems:

Deep system is responsible for 90% of blood return from the legs.

Superficial system – returns 10% of blood from the legs to the heart.

Varicose veins only occur in the superficial system. When the valves become diseased the vein walls lose elasticity. The diseased valves allow the blood to flow back down the leg.

Large varicose veins are seen as bulging or in some cases, ropey, enlarged, painful blue protrusions.

The legs may feel heavy, painful or tired.

If varicose veins are left untreated they can cause complications such as skin discoloration, breakdown (stasis dermatitis), inflammation of veins (phlebitis) or leg ulcers.

Medium veins (reticular veins)
those are bluish veins just under the skin. They may cause heaviness and aching.

Spider Veins (telangectasia)

Spider veins are red or purple narrow lines that can appear on the legs or on the face. These can cause itching, burning, tingling or aching. Mostly they are unsightly.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins may not be painful at all. Larger veins are not necessarily more painful than smaller ones. Often it is the smaller spider veins that cause more discomfort.

Vein symptoms are often worse at the end of the day, or with menstruation, or pregnancy. The discomfort may be described as a dull pain, sharp pain, burning, aching, tiredness, tingling, night cramps or restlessness.

The causes of Varicose & Spider Veins

• Heredity (the most common cause)
• Hormones (especially changes produced during puberty, pregnancy, menopause)
• Overweight / Obesity
• Prolonged standing or sitting (i.e. teachers, nurses, doctors, waitresses, retail workers, hairdressers)
• Trauma
• Advancing age
• Excessive heat (especially for veins on the face)

Prevention

• Exercise is recommended, especially walking, cycling and swimming.
• Avoid prolonged periods of immobility
• Stretch feet and calf muscles frequently whether standing or seated
• Watch your weight
• Avoid sunburns (use a good sunscreen).
• Do not wear tight clothing (e.g. girdles),high heels
• Wear graduated compression, support socks or pantyhose when recommended

Graduated compression stockings have higher compression at the ankle helping to prevent the blood flowing back down the leg. They help improve circulation and relieve symptoms of tired, heavy legs.

We carry a complete line of the latest styles and colors of Sigvaris and Airways stockings for both women and men. Modern compression stockings are very stylish, and cannot be distinguished from regular stockings.

Compression stockings are covered under most extended health plans. Please press on this link to print out a questionnaire for your insurance company, to find out if you are covered.

An Insurance Company Questionnaire

Treatment of Varicose and Spider Veins

There are currently several different treatments available for varicose / spider veins:

1. Surgical treatment (stripping). This is the preferred treatment for the large varicose veins. A stripping operation removes the large veins leaving only a few small scars. This procedure is covered by OHIP.

2. EVLT (Endovenous Laser Treatment) also called EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation). This procedure is not covered by OHIP. For more information, please visit www.evlt.ca

3. Sclerotherapy is a treatment of choice, at our clinic, for varicose and spider veins. It has been in use for many years and continues to be the most effective and economic treatment for leg veins.

4. Laser – Laser can be used to treat some veins – usually on the face. Sclerotherapy is still a superior treatment to laser for leg veins.
In some cases of very large varicose veins you may be referred for a surgical opinion for stripping, though many patients are now choosing the less invasive Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) instead of surgery (stripping).