Are Varicose Veins Inherited?

Do You Have Your Mother’s Legs?

One of the strongest risk factors for varicose veins is a family history. We often see mothers and their daughters, fathers and sons, siblings, and some times the entire family for similar varicose vein issues. This picture demonstrates a mother and her daughter with ironically the same varicose vein pattern of distribution. Don’t want your mother’s legs? Stay on top of your vein condition and have them treated or maintenance treatment to avoid bulging varicosities.

Varicose veins may be hereditary. This picture demonstrates a mother and daughter who have the same distribution of varicose veins.

Varicose veins may be hereditary. This picture demonstrates a mother and daughter who have the same distribution of varicose veins.

Before and After Photo: Varicose Veins


Varicose veins, of any size can be successfully removed without surgery. There are a number of non-invasive treatment options to remove them without surgery. See more before and after pictures of La Jolla Vein Care treatments, on the ‘results’ page.

Varicose veins, which are the bulging, twisted veins just beneath the surface of the skin, can cause symptoms such as leg heaviness, aching, tiredness, swelling, fatigue, throbbing, burning, restless legs and night cramps.  Fortunately, there are a number of non-invasive treatment options to remove them without surgery. The doctors at La Jolla Vein Care have specialized in non-surgical vein removal for several years and thousands of non-surgical vein procedures have been successfully performed at La Jolla Vein Care.  See more before and after pictures, on the ‘results’ page.

Dr. Bunke Presents at SVM Scientific Sessions


Dr Nisha Bunke Paquette presents at the SVM Annual Scientific Meeting in La Jolla, Torrey Pines Hilton June, 2014.

La Jolla Vein Care’s Dr. Nisha Bunke presented a talk about the ‘Management of Non-healing wounds in venous disease’ at the Society for Vascular Medicine’s Annual Scientific Sessions this past weekend. She spoke about venous leg ulcers, which she described as being the most common type of chronic leg ulcer, how to make the correct diagnosis and how to heal the venous leg ulcers.

Other topics at the meeting included venous thromboembolism (DVT), diagnosing and treatments for DVT, atypical wounds, phlebectomy, managment of the diabetic wound, duplex evaluation of the lower extremities for DVT, doppler evaluation of the arterial system, lymphedema, lipedema and many other venous, arterial and lymphatic system topics.

Can Spider Veins Be Painful?

spider veins

Spider veins are small abnormally enlarged reddish or bluish vessels located at the surface of the skin. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin. Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They can also can symptoms such as leg pain, itching, aching, burning and throbbing, just like larger veins.

In contrast to what most people think, spider veins are not only cosmetic but can actually cause symptoms, including swelling and heaviness of the legs. This may be in part because small spider veins can be a sign of underlying venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease.

Can Varicose Veins Cause Leg Ulcers?


VENOUS LEG ULCER, BEFORE: This is a venous leg ulcer, caused by venous reflux or venous insufficiency. In this picture, you can see varicose veins above the wound.


VENOUS LEG ULCER, AFTER: Because this individual had reflux only in the superficial varicose veins, treatment consisted of foam sclerotherapy of the varicosities and compression with unna boot dressing. The wound healed rapidly and note that the varicose veins are gone.

A venous leg ulcer is an open wound on the leg, caused by long-standing vein problems. It is the most severe form of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Venous leg ulcers are common, accounting for over 70% of all leg wounds. It affects 1% of Americans and is the seventh leading cause for disability in the United States.

It is usually located around the ankle (on the inner or outer sides). It is caused by underlying venous insufficiency, or venous reflux.  The persistent venous reflux (back flow of blood through faulty valves) causes high pressure within the leg veins.  The high pressure, is then exerting outward on the skin, causing an inflammatory response, eventually causing the skin to break down.  Visible signs of venous disease are varicose veins, ankle swelling, skin discoloration around the ankle and usually precede the leg wound.  Underlying venous insufficiency can be detected by duplex ultrasound imaging (a non-painful study).

The treatment of venous leg ulcers is to correct the underlying problem: the faulty veins. Treatment of the underlying non-functional veins will reduce pressure from venous hypertension, allowing the wound to heal.  There are a number of non-surgical treatment options that can accomplish this including foam sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation, depending on the affected veins. To determine if your leg wound is related to a vein problem or for treatment options, call us for more information.

What If I need my Great Saphenous Vein for Bypass Someday?


The Great Saphenous Vein is a vein of the superficial venous system that drains blood from the skin and tissues into the deep system. It is most commonly the root of the problem in people with varicose veins. When the great saphenous vein is dysfunctional, removing it is the first step of vein treatment.

A great saphenous vein that needs treatment is not functioning properly. When a vein is diseased, the walls become weak and the vessel can dilate or grow triple its’ normal size. This is not the type of vessel that would be ideal to place in a diseased heart. While the saphenous vein is a common vein that is harvested for bypass grafts, there are other options such as the internal thoracic artery in the chest and the radial artery which is in the arm. With these options, an artery replaces an artery and the removal of the valves inside the veins is not necessary. It is important for the entire circulatory system to be functioning properly, together.

La Jolla Vein Care Chosen To Participate in Compression Trial

La Jolla Vein Care Participates in ACTitouch Adaptive Compression Therapy Trial
compression pump

La Jolla Vein Care participates in compression therapy trial

Selected patients at La Jolla Vein Care will be offered to participate in the ACTitouch compression trial.  Compression therapy is used for the treatment and prevention of vein disorders in the form of compression garments like compression socks and stockings, multi-layer wrappings, gel paste boots or devices such lymphatic pumps. The ACTitouch is a new compression device designed for ease of use and comfort.  The ACTitouch Adaptive Compression Therapy system combines two proven therapies—intermittent pneumatic compression and sustained gradient compression—in one easy-to-wear device. It is designed to mimic the action of the calf muscle pump through application of optimal gradient pressures.  It is lightweight and compact, so it may give you the freedom to stay active while helping you reduce edema and heal venous leg ulcers. Because it is easy to use, the ACTitouch system may help promote greater patient compliance.  The study will assess whether or not patients who are unable to wear compression garments are more compliant with using the ACTitouch system because it is easier to use.   This device may offer effective daily at-home treatment of venous insufficiency for those who cannot use other types of compression.




Meet La Jolla Vein Care’s Dr. Fronek, Vein Specialist

Helane Fronek MD, FACP, FACPh is one of La Jolla Vein Care’s esteemed board certified vein specialist.  Dr. Fronek _NOR1964entered the field of phlebology in 1985 and has been an integral part of the development of this new medical specialty. As the Director of the Varicose Vein Clinic at Scripps Clinic, she provided cutting edge treatment for the entire spectrum of superficial venous disorders and conducted research on venous leg ulceration, compression therapy, and emerging therapies for varicose veins. Dr. Fronek is a past president of the American College of Phlebology, the largest medical organization devoted to vein care. She is a respected speaker and educator in all aspects of diagnosis and treatment for venous disease and communication in the medical arena.

Dr. Fronek was the first recipient of the American College of Phlebology’s prestigious Leadership Award. In 2011, Dr. Fronek was honored for her contribution to the field of phlebology and named an honorary member of the ACP. This award is given to one leader in the field, amongst national and international members.

Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Phlebology, she is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC-San Diego School of Medicine, where she teaches medical students the practice of physical examination and the art of medicine. Dr. Fronek has dedicated her career to providing technically excellent and compassionate care to her patients and to inspiring and teaching the next generation of phlebologists. Dr. Fronek is well known for authoring, ‘The Fundamentals of Phlebology’ which is a medical textbook used by most Phlebologists entering the field.

Dr. Fronek is accepting new patients. To make an appointment with Dr. Fronek, call 858-550-0330.