Most individuals are familiar with the terms spider veins or varicose veins. However, there is considerably less familiarity with reticular veins. These are small veins that bridge the gap between spider veins and varicose veins and also result commonly from chronic venous insufficiency. Reticular veins are slightly larger than spider veins at about 1-3 mm in diameter and are blue or green veins sometimes surrounded by a cluster of spider veins. As such, the vein specialist center may refer to them as feeder veins (or what causes spider veins) and will suggest treatment of these veins along with spider veins for more permanent results.
Without treating reticular veins which is a common mistake and cannot be simply treated with laser therapy or sometimes even liquid sclerotherapy.
RETICULAR VEIN SYMPTOMS
Reticular veins are again similar to spider and varicose veins in symptoms. They can cause pain, itching, redness or burning. In the presence of chronic venous insufficiency, more deeper symptoms may be felt and reticular veins serve as a reminder to investigate further. A vein doctor would need to perform a thorough medical and physical examination to determine signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency. Additional testing may include doppler ultrasound (DUS) to evaluate vein and valve function underneath the skin.
RETICULAR VEIN TREATMENT
Fortunately, reticular veins can be treated just as well as spider veins or varicose veins. In many instances, this involves cosmetic treatments that will suffice. However, in the presence of symptoms, venous insufficiency will likely need to be treated first before addressing smaller veins such as reticular or spider veins to eliminate symptoms.
The primary form of reticular vein treatment center is similar to spider vein removal. However, some veins are not likely to resolve with laser therapy (due to poor penetration) or liquid sclerotherapy (dilutional effect). This is where the role of a qualified, board-certified vein doctor is most important. Not only do they need to consider the best treatment for the surface (laser therapy, liquid sclerotherapy or foam-sclerotherapy with possible ultrasound guidance), the exclusion of underlying vein disease must also be considered.
Reticular vein treatment with sclerotherapy is generally performed at the vein center office during a 15 minute to 1 hour long session (depending on the nature and extent of veins). Using ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy will also be more time consuming to be exact with the placement and delivery of effective medication. Most patients will need 1-3 sessions for a successful course of vein treatment. The cost of sclerotherapy for spider veins will depend on medication utilized, qualifications of the vein clinic and vein doctor, extent and nature of vein disease.