Varicose Veins


Damaged veins can take on many forms, ranging from small harmless spider veins to large, bulging, rope-like clusters. And although they are often considered just an unsightly condition, not all vascular lesions are created equal. Varicose veins, also referred to as venous insufficiency, can pose as much more than merely a cosmetic concern making you feel self-conscious. They can actually be a sign of something much more serious and should be inspected by a vein expert such as Dr. Rajan Bhatt from Spectrum Dermatology to ensure your health and safety. At Spectrum Dermatology, we offer several treatment options to help treat the underlying cause of your venous insufficiency, while at the same time, improving your appearance and circulation.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins is a condition that is commonly found in the legs in which blood collects in the blood vessels causing them to become enlarged and visible through the skin. Many people are unaware there are a variety of vein conditions, including spider veins. Spider veins and varicose veins are very different conditions and a person with varicose veins should be seen by a vascular expert.

Symptoms Of Varicose Veins

  • Bulging and twisted veins that are purple or bluish in color
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tenderness and pain, including throbbing
  • Itching or burning around the veins
  • Skin discoloration
Variose Veins | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale, Arizona

Damage with varicose veins occurs because the veins are damaged and are unable to pump the blood back to the heart. With proper circulation, blood is brought from the heart to the legs via arteries. Veins then carry the oxygen-poor blood back to the heart for reoxygenation. However, when surrounding muscles and venous valves become weak or damaged, the blood is unable to be pushed back up to the heart thus causing backflow and blood pooling.

What Causes Venous Insufficiency?

Many underlying factors can contribute to varicose veins. With age, your risk for developing varicose veins increases due to wear and tear on the valves within your veins.

Varicose Vein Risk Factors:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time resulting in excess pressure placed on the legs

Women are also more prone to developing this painful condition as a result of hormonal fluctuations which can lead to veins becoming weakened. However, other risk factors should be taken into consideration.

“Spectrum Dermatology is fantastic. The staff is always friendly and professional and appointments are always on time. And, I really appreciate how thorough they are!”

– Amy, Actual Patient*

Diagnosing Varicose Veins

If you are displaying any of the symptoms of varicose veins, you should seek medical attention at Spectrum Dermatology. During your examination, Dr. Bhatt will discuss your symptoms and will look for any signs of swelling on your body. An ultrasound test may be conducted to check the condition of your valves to ensure they are functioning correctly. Severe venous insufficiency, if left untreated, can lead to possible complications and more serious conditions, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Ulcers on the skin
  • Bleeding due to the vein rupturing close to the skin
Varicose Vein Treatment | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale, Arizona

Above: Varicose Vein Treatment Before/After*

Treatment Options For Varicose Veins – The Rise of Radiofrequency Ablation

Most treatments for this medical condition are covered by insurance. At Spectrum Dermatology, if you are diagnosed with varicose veins, you will work together with one of our vein experts to find an appropriate treatment that fits your needs. You may be advised to lose weight, improve your diet, refrain from extended periods of standing or sitting, or to elevate your legs. Conservative treatment methods, including lifestyle changes, will always be utilized first. This may include wearing compression stockings that are used to help increase circulation in your legs.

If stockings and lifestyle changes do not improve your condition, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the preferred method of treatment at Spectrum Dermatology. RFA is the gold standard treatment for varicose veins and produces favorable results with little to no downtime. It involves inserting a small catheter into the diseased vein via a small incision. Radiofrequency energy is then used to heat the walls of the vein causing it to close. Blood is rerouted to a healthy vein while the body naturally absorbs the collapsed vein.

Laser ablation, similar to radiofrequency ablation, uses laser energy to close and destroy the damaged vein. However, laser ablation is not as comfortable nor as successful as RF ablation at treating venous insufficiency. It is often associated with pain and possible bruising. Stab phlebectomy is another form of treatment where the varicose vein is actually removed through tiny punctures made in the skin. Performed by a vascular surgeon, Spectrum Dermatology prefers radiofrequency ablation as a less invasive option to stab phlebectomy at Spectrum Dermatology.

Varicose Vein Treatment Recovery and Results

Recovery will depend on your specific treatment method chosen, but most varicose vein procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and don’t require hospitalization. Radiofrequency ablation doesn’t require much downtime, possibly an hour or two post-treatment. Success rates are high with most patients noticing an immediate improvement in their circulation which in turn alleviates symptoms and eliminates unsightly veins. You may still need to wear compression stockings post-treatment to prevent further venous complications.

Schedule a Varicose Vein Consultation at Spectrum Dermatology

If you’re showing signs or experiencing symptoms of vein disease such as varicose veins, contact Spectrum Dermatology to schedule a consultation with vein expert Dr. Rajan Bhatt. He will guide you in selecting a treatment that will help provide you with successful long-term results while also helping you to prevent further vein damage. Contact us today by calling (480) 948-8400.