Vein FAQs

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about varicose veins and spider veins.

At Desert Vein and Vascular Institute, we understand that patients may have questions, and we want to make sure that you have all the answers you may need. Below are questions we receive most often. After reviewing these questions and answers, if you need additional information, please feel free to contact us at 760-568-3461.

Varicose Veins FAQs

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, unsightly, weakened, dilated, and often-uncomfortable veins that no longer carry blood from the legs back up to the heart effectively against gravity. This is secondary to the failure of the valve system in your veins, which normally would allow blood to only flow back to the heart. Varicose veins, and often the smaller spider veins, are related to venous disease, the failure or insufficiency of valves inside veins.

Varicose veins commonly cause many symptoms in the legs including:

    • Tiredness
    • Fatigue
    • Heaviness
    • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Swelling
These symptoms are typically worse at the end of the day, but get better with rest or by elevating legs. Effective treatment of these diseased veins usually reduces the symptoms. If left untreated, varicose veins always worsen over time and may lead to significant complications, such as clots, skin inflammation, and even venous ulceration in later stages of disease.


What is venous disease?

Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency or superficial venous reflux, is a condition that develops when the valves that usually keep blood flowing out of your legs become damaged or diseased. This causes the blood to pool in your legs. It’s important to not ignore varicose veins and symptoms of venous hypertension to prevent long-term complications of the disease.

What causes varicose veins?

Several factors contribute to varicose veins. The most important, but unalterable, factor is genetics. A genetic tendency causes veins to weaken and wear out over time. The greater this genetic tendency, the sooner it can happen.

Other contributing factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Estrogen/progesterone-containing medications
  • Previous blood clots
  • Standing for long periods of time

In most cases, nothing can be done to prevent the development of the condition, but if effective treatment is given early in the course of vein disease, complications like phlebitis, blood clots, and ulcerations can be prevented and symptoms can be relieved.

How are varicose veins treated? Is it painful?

DVVI prefers the ClosureFast™ Procedure to treat varicose veins, also known as the Closure® procedure. This is a minimally invasive treatment for superficial venous reflux in which a small catheter is inserted into the vein through a small opening. The catheter delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse, and seal shut. Patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the ClosureFast™ Procedure because we use a local or regional anesthetic to numb the treatment area.


Spider Veins FAQs

What are spider veins?

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are abnormally dilated blood vessels in your skin. They usually appear on your legs, but can also occur on your face, chest, arms, and back.

Contrary to what many doctors think, spider veins can cause the same symptoms as much larger varicose veins, including:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Heaviness
  • Fatigue in your legs.

Although they may be symptomatic, spider veins are not usually a health hazard and do not lead to serious complications. In rare cases, they can bleed profusely after being injured; but otherwise, they are treated mostly as a cosmetic problem.

Spider veins appearing in unusual locations, such as the inside of the calf or ankle, usually indicate a more serious vein problem. They can be treated both medically and for cosmetic purposes.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins may develop in two ways.

  • Tiny pre-existing veins can enlarge and become dilated over time.
  • Your body actually grows new veins where it doesn’t need them… in your skin. Pregnancy, estrogen-containing medications, and hormonal fluctuations may stimulate their appearance; therefore, spider veins are more common in women

Contrary to what many people believe, spider veins are not caused by crossing the legs or by years of prolonged standing or sitting at work.

The tendency to develop abnormal veins is largely hereditary, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent them. Compression (support) hose, exercise, and dietary supplements are helpful for symptoms, but don’t prevent new spider veins (or varicose veins) from appearing. In some cases, spider veins may indicate larger diseased veins underneath the skin.

The vein specialists at DVVI may use ultrasound to search for any hidden diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, they need to be treated first and reduced or spider vein treatment will be ineffective.

How are spider veins treated?

Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. A solution or foam (a sclerosant) is injected into your abnormal veins causing them to shrink and disappear. Blood is re-routed into nearby healthy veins. Immediately following treatment, spider veins may be more prominent than they were prior to treatment as they become inflamed. This resolves with time as the body absorbs the veins.

Miscellaneous FAQs

How can I schedule an appointment?

Just call our offices today at (888) 714-9709 to schedule an appointment that suits your schedule. Or you can request an appointment online. Our staff will be happy to assist you!

What should I bring to my appointment?

Please bring your ID, your insurance card, a list of your diagnoses, and the medications you take. You should also bring any pertinent medical records, such as imaging results, prior test results, or doctor’s notes related to your vein problem. Plan to arrive about 15 minutes early to complete your paperwork.

What are my payment options?

Medically significant venous insufficiency is covered by most insurance plans. There are requirements that must be met, including recommended time wearing compression hose, to be eligible for insurance coverage. For cosmetic treatments, we accept Visa, MasterCard and debit cards, and we do offer third-party financing options.

Call us now to learn more or to schedule a complimentary consultation: (760) 568-3461

Desert Regional
Desert Vein Institute

Vein and Vascular

Rancho Mirage
Palm Springs
La Quinta
(3 locations to serve you)
Tel: 760.568.3461