Suf­fer­ing from spi­der or vari­cose veins? Dr John Tan of The Vein Clinic and Surgery ex­plains what they are, and the var­i­ous meth­ods of deal­ing with them.

Herworld (Singapore) - - THE VEIN CLINIC & SURGERY SPECIAL - The Vein Clinic & Surgery is at #11-08 Paragon. To make an ap­point­ment, e-mail en­[email protected]­ or call 6245-6666. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.thevein­

Spi­der veins and vari­cose veins aren’t pretty. The for­mer are lit­tle clus­ters of pink and pur­ple threads that ap­pear on the legs, while the lat­ter are bulgy, knotty masses usu­ally seen on the calves. Both are the re­sult of veins be­com­ing weak due to age, hor­mones, obe­sity, preg­nancy, pro­longed sit­ting/ stand­ing, or ge­netic fac­tors.

Nei­ther spi­der veins nor vari­cose veins will go away with­out treat­ment. And they’re not just un­sightly: They can cause pain, cramps and aching, which is why Dr John Tan, a con­sul­tant vas­cu­lar sur­geon and founder of The Vein Clinic and Surgery, says they re­ally should be treated.

Tack­ling the is­sue

“There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent meth­ods to ad­dress spi­der and vari­cose veins,” says Dr Tan. “Your doc­tor should rst per­form an ul­tra­sound scan so he can see the ex­tent of the prob­lem, and de­ter­mine the best course of ac­tion.”

A com­mon ap­proach for spi­der veins is sclerother­apy, where a chem­i­cal is in­jected into the veins to seal them off. For larger veins, it is in­jected in the form of foam. “The treat­ment is ef­fec­tive, al­though the veins can re­cur, par­tic­u­larly if you get preg­nant,” says Dr Tan.

For vari­cose veins, there are sev­eral treat­ments. One is En­dove­nous Laser Treat­ment (ELT), where a laser is used to heat and col­lapse the vein walls. An­other is VNUS Clo­sure, where ra­dio fre­quen­cies are used to elim­i­nate veins in­stead. Pa­tients do not need se­da­tion, and re­quire only lo­cal anaes­thetic in the specic area to be treated. Each treat­ment is straight­for­ward, with lit­tle or no last­ing side ef­fects. “Treat­ment takes around an hour. Pa­tients can usu­ally walk im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards, and are left with no scars once the nee­dle marks have healed,” he says.

An­other al­ter­na­tive treat­ment is Ve­naseal. “This uses med­i­cal-grade ‘su­per­glue’ to close and seal the veins,” says Dr Tan. As it does not in­volve heat like ELT or VNUS Clo­sure, no anaes­the­sia is re­quired.

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