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Reticular Veins

What are reticular veins?

Reticular veins are superficial veins that look like short, irregular lines found beneath the skin’s surface; they generally appear on the legs. Dr Bardwil, one of the leading vein doctors in Houston, considers spider and reticular veins to be surface veins. Spider veins are typically blue or red and appear to be thin veins relative to reticular veins which are usually a little larger and typically appear green, blue or sometimes purple. Spider veins may arise from reticular veins. Like spider veins and varicose veins, reticular veins occur when there is a problem with the valves inside the veins.

How to tell the difference between reticular, spider and varicose veins?

It is not uncommon for there to be some confusion between reticular, spider and varicose veins due to the fact to the untrained eye there is some similarity in appearance.

On the spectrum of venous insufficiency disorders, reticular veins vary between 1–3 mm in size and are larger in comparison to spider veins although smaller in size than varicose veins. It is possible to suffer from both reticular and spider veins at the same time.

Reticular veins may be closer in size to varicose veins but there are key differences that tell them apart:

  • Firstly, unlike varicose veins that appear to bulge above the skin’s surface and can be felt, reticular veins appear flat: they do not rise above the surface, and they cannot be felt.
  • Secondly, reticular veins are less twisted or ropy compared to varicose veins.

A reticular vein may grow into a small varicose vein, and someone may ask – is that a large reticular vein or a small varicose vein? From a treatment perspective, the fact is that it doesn’t really matter because in either case the treatment will probably be the same. That is, absent other venous pathology, the recommended treatment for both reticular veins and varicose veins is foam sclerotherapy.

Symptoms of reticular veins

The primary symptom of reticular veins is an aesthetic one. Reticular veins are also known to produce uncomfortable symptoms such as pain.

It is recommended that if a person believes that they have reticular veins, they seek out a consultation with a doctor specializing in venous conditions for an accurate diagnosis and prescribed treatment plan.

What treatment option is best for removing reticular veins?

People with reticular veins who experience pain or any other type of discomfort are encouraged to schedule a consultation with a vein specialist to seek suitable treatment. Those who do not experience any pain but are feeling self-conscious about the unsightly appearance of these veins can also seek treatment to eliminate them.

Reticular veins are not usually linked to any serious health risk but it is worth having the condition checked out by a qualified vascular surgeon.

Foam sclerotherapy

The foremost form of treatment for reticular and spider veins is foam sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting the veins with a solution that causes irritation to the inside of the vein wall, with the desired effect of causing the vein to scar and close. This procedure is carried out in the doctor’s office and takes approximately 30 minutes.

The foam sclerotherapy procedure offers significant results which is why it is the preferred treatment method for reticular veins. Foam sclerotherapy entails mixing solutions used for sclerotherapy with carbon dioxide gas, making it the consistency of shaving cream. The foam is more effective than liquid for treating larger veins because the liquid becomes diluted before it can contact the vein wall. In shaving cream state, the blood is displaced so the sclerosing solution can have the desired effect.

During the procedure, the vein doctor will use a special sclerosing formulated solution comprising a combination of gas and liquid which is then administered via injection into the vein(s) that are the target of the treatment.

The procedure is minimally-invasive and a numbing cream can also be used should the patient prefer it. Patients of Texas Vein & Cosmetic Specialists may choose numbing cream for their procedure for a small additional fee.

Other treatment options like laser therapy and the use of Ohmic Thermolysis devices that may be used in treating venous conditions are found to be ineffective in producing desired results when treating reticular veins.

Seek expert advice for reticular vein complaints in Houston

Texas Vein & Cosmetic Specialists is a leading vein treatment center based in Houston, offering expert care by a board-certified vascular surgeon for the treatment of venous diseases including reticular veins.

Individual consultation for the elimination of reticular veins is recommended as each patient’s situation is unique. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an evaluation of your reticular vein condition and to discuss treatment options.

Dr. Bardwil has meticulously written or reviewed all the website content, ensuring that all the medical facts in the text are correct.

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