Am I Too Old? Varicose Vein Treatment at Any Age

We’re often asked, ‘Am I too old to treat my varicose veins?’  The answer is no. Since modern varicose vein treatments are largely non-surgical, there are appropriate treatment options for those of any age. While varicose veins are more common with each decade of life, they can appear on young teenagers or at any time in older adults.    For active older adults, addressing varicose vein conditions is even more important to maintain healthy legs.    Otherwise, symptoms of leg heaviness, fatigue, swelling and pain can slow you down.  There are other complications of untreated varicose veins such as superficial thrombophlebitis, varicose vein rupture and leg ulceration, in severe cases.  There are a variety of minimally invasive treatment options for varicose veins, and depending on the individual preference, severity of the condition and the veins affected will help you and your doctor determine the best treatment course.

This is a 90 year-old female who wanted her varicose veins treated because they were bothersome to her when she played tennis and she didn’t like the way they look. These varicose veins were treated with painless injections, given at two treatment sessions. This is called foam sclerotherapy treatment of varicose veins.
The after picture is at one month following the varicose vein injections (foam sclerotherapy). She tolerated the treatment well and she was able to return to normal activities right away, with the main restriction being wearing compression stockings for several weeks.

 

What is a Venous Insufficiency / Duplex Ultrasound Test?

 

The Duplex Ultrasound examination, also called a venous insufficiency study allows us to visualize the blood vessels that are not visible to the naked eye, even blood vessels that are deep within the muscles.  The ultrasound examination is used to both identify the veins that have faulty valves and to map the anatomy of the veins, creating a ‘road map.’  This is necessary to make an accurate assessment of the cause and extent of the varicose veins, as well as to formulate the best treatment plan.  This should be done for any individual being evaluated for varicose veins, leg swelling, patients who have failed prior treatment, patients who are symptomatic and in some patients with certain anatomic patterns of spider veins.

Duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to get images of your blood vessels.  It also helps determine how fast blood moves through the vessels.

vascular-imaging

One of our vascular sonographers, evaluating the great saphenous vein in the thigh with duplex ultrasound.

At La Jolla Vein Care, the venous duplex study will be performed by one of our registered vascular technologists, who have specialized training in the science of vascular sonography (RVT). It is performed in the standing position, which is important in obtaining an accurate study result.  This examination takes approximately 45-60 minutes. Following the study, the doctor will personally discuss the results with our patients to ensure a complete understanding of the ultrasound findings.  Insurance typically covers this type of diagnostic study.

 

Spider Vein Sclerotherapy: Before & After Photos

Before and after pictures of spider veins that were treated with sclerotherapy.

Before and after pictures of spider veins that were treated with sclerotherapy. This patient had spider veins behind the knees, which is a common location for spider veins and larger blue, ‘reticular veins.’

Spider vein patient treated at La Jolla Vein Care with sclerotherapy.

Spider vein patient treated at La Jolla Vein Care with sclerotherapy. Notice the presence of a blue ‘feeder vein’ that gives rise to the spider veins. It is important to treat ‘feeder veins’ to successfully eliminate the spider veins. It is similar to ‘pulling the root’ of a weed rather than clipping the weed to eliminate it.

Spider vein patient treated at La Jolla Vein Care with sclerotherapy. Note that spider veins can vary in size, location and severity. Depending on the severity of the condition, multiple treatment sessions may be required for optimal
Note that spider veins can vary in size, location and severity. This patient had a large cluster of spider veins that appear as a bluish-purple discoloration on the outside of the knee. This patient has bruising after treatment which will fade over several weeks.

 

New Cosmetic Spider Vein Clinic

While the doctors at La Jolla Vein Care are committed to advancing vein care through medicine, education and research (Dr. Bunke just published the 2nd edition of the Vein Book and Dr. Fronek remains an integral part of the American College of Phlebology), we are pleased to offer our new RN/ PA (Registered Nurse/ Physician Assistant) cosmetic sclerotherapy clinic for simple spider vein conditions offered on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Simple spider vein conditions are those that are cosmetic and can be treated with liquid sclerotherapy.  This does not include foam sclerotherapy for larger varicose veins, which is administered by the doctor.

The cost is based on how much solution is used, so it is a cost efficient means of treating that ‘stubborn patch of veins’ or ‘clean up’ of small spider veins after larger varicose vein removal.  The cost is $100 for the first syringe (2cc) and $75 for each additional syringe.

spider veins

Spider veins can come in different sizes and severity. Depending on the severity of the spider veins, multiple sclerotherapy treatments may be required.

New patients or patients not seen within two years will be required a physician consultation first.  For more information or to schedule your consultation, call 858-550-0330.