We offer non-surgical, cosmetic solutions for Surrey vein treatments, targeting varicose veins and spider veins. We also have multiple methods and technologies to get rid of red lines and bumps in the skin, that result from venous inefficiencies. These include sclerotherapy injections guided by ultrasound, vascular laser treatments and prescription-grade compression stockings (including fitting services). Patients choose our service from Delta, Langley, White Rock, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster, and beyond.
If you have visible hand veins, we also offer dermal injectable solutions to help hide them beneath your skin.
When it comes to vascular lesions stemming from varicosity or capillary dilation (telangiectasias), know that the condition is often related to genetic factors, which cause weakening of the vein walls. For this reason, multiple treatments may be needed, to keep superficial veins from appearing through your skin.
Not only that, sometimes we need to work through your visible veins by dealing with the larger veins first, which may be the root cause of spider veins or reticular veins (especially in the legs or feet). After safely treating the ‘source’ of blood pooling, we can then work on smaller, thinner vein lines.
Each person’s case of venous abnormalities will be different. The best way to learn what solutions we think will work on you, is to come in for a consultation at our Surrey clinic. We’ll be able to take a closer look at your visible veins, understand their severity, and learn more about your health history. This way, we can perform the safest, most effective treatments we can on you.
What causes varicose veins (varicosities) in the legs?
Varicose veins are caused by insufficient blood flow in your vascular system, where superficial veins are located, near your skin layer.
You see, blood has to travel from your heart, to all your extremities. Then, the blood from your body needs to go back to the heart, to get oxygenated. When you are healthy, the cycle repeats constantly.
Veins bring deoxygenated blood to your heart. Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from your heart.
But how does your body’s little ‘blood conveyor’ work, when considering the issue of gravity? Why doesn’t all your blood pool at the bottom of your legs?
This is due to a clever ‘pumping’ system in your veins. Your veins expand and contract to carry blood to your heart. They also contain one-way valves (little ‘doors’ if you will). These valves are located at intervals in your veins, making little ‘chambers’ inside them. This ensures that during the pumping process, blood in one chamber stays put until it can travel to the next chamber, separated by another set of valves.
And on it goes, all the way to your heart – chamber by chamber, pump by pump, with valves that open and close, constantly. This is called the “venous system.”
When you sit or stand still for too long, your veins can’t do their job very well. Other factors also affect how well veins can pump blood throughout your body. This includes body weight, pregnancy, hormonal factors, surgery, illness and genetic predispositions. Smoking doesn’t help, either.
If your superficial veins are not pumping efficiently, blood starts to coalesce in those little chambers we mentioned earlier. They start to ‘stick’ to your vein walls, and can’t move on their own anymore. If left untreated, the issue becomes worse, and permanent. Eventually, the veins start to stretch and twist, losing elasticity. This weakens the valves, which can’t open and close properly anymore. So, more and more blood is gathered, creating a dilation of blood vessels, which can also start flowing backwards. We call this “venous pooling,” “venous reflux,” or “superficial thrombophlebitis.”
When pooling happens near the surface of your skin, it is usually a type of superficial blood clot (thrombosis). And, that’s what we call varicose veins. They’re not the ‘dangerous’ kind of blood clot that causes pulmonary embolism in your lungs.
If the venous pooling happens below the skin layer, in your muscular anatomy, and is hard to see through your skin, it could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and this is a serious condition.
Back to superficial venous pooling, however…
The aesthetic problem with varicose veins is that the collection of blood cells is so massive, the pigments start to show through your skin. Since the oxygen content is low in this blood, it can show blue or purple lines on your legs.
One bit of good news is that – most of the time – varicose veins are harmless. They are merely an aesthetic issue. Sometimes they can hurt or itch, however. We should also mention that in extreme, rare cases, they can turn into bleeds or ulcers. And other times, they can indicate that deep vein thrombosis is a risk.
The other bit of good news is that, after ruling out the rare, serious conditions, doctors can treat varicose veins.
Regardless of the procedure used, the idea behind superficial vein removal is to get blood flowing through other paths in your venous system, where it can be pumped more strongly against the force of gravity. Since your venous system is made up of a very complex, interconnected web of veins (small, medium and large sized, too), this is usually quite safe to do.
In essence, if your blood can’t travel one way, it can take another route. Vein clinics can force this other blood flow route, using a variety of methods.
The end result? The blood pooling stops, and the treated visible veins are gone.
Can they return? Well, new ones can form. We will discuss this more below.
What causes spider veins and reticular veins to show in legs, faces and other skin?
Now that we’ve explained how varicose veins are formed, we can better understand the way spider veins (i.e. “telangiectasias,” or “vascular lesions”) start to show up in the body.
Spider veins are tiny webs of visible veins, that are showing through the skin. They can look like a cluster of blood lines in red, blue or purple. They are actually broken capillaries, where blood cells have thickened (coagulated), due to insufficient blood flow. Capillaries, by the way, are the connectors between veins and arteries.
Visible spider veins form similarly to varicose veins, except that they happen in the smaller, irregular network of veins in your body. They can be very different in each person. This is unlike larger, superficial leg veins, which are more or less consistent in all humans.
The difference between varicose veins and spider veins is not just their size, but also where they can appear in the body.
Varicose veins are common in the legs (sometimes in the groin or arms, too). Spider veins usually appear on the legs or face. If you have varicose veins, it is likely that you will also have spider veins, which develop from a backlog of pressure in the larger veins, where the main source of pooling is happening.
Spider veins, like varicose veins, have a genetic component to their occurrence. They can also be related to hormone activity, which makes them more common in women (due to sex biology, pregnancies, birth control pills, etc.). People with rosacea also can form spider veins on their face, and women are more likely to develop that skin condition, too.
The good news is that spider veins are also treatable, just like varicose veins.
Another type of vein condition, called, “reticular veins,” look similar to spider veins. They happen in the legs, but are a little wider than spider veins. They are often blue, green or purple. They can also be treated.
What causes bulging hand veins?
Some people don’t like the look of veins bulging through the skin in their hands. Depending on what is causing these veins to appear so prominently, they may be treatable.
Typically, hand veins begin to show through the skin with progressive age or weight loss. This is when the skin loses elasticity and thickness. It’s also when fat and water underneath the skin are lost. Overall, these bodily changes create less structure and volume on the backs of your hands.
However, bulging hand veins can also be the result of other venous diseases – including superficial thrombophlebitis, like the leg condition we described above. In these cases, the issue is not only with the skin, but the veins themselves.
Veiny hands can also be caused after receiving an IV treatment, by pregnancy or mere genetics.
Some hand vein conditions are harmless, like spider veins or most varicose veins are. However, others can be more serious. The best way to find out what your case may be, is to see a doctor in person. This is especially recommended if you feel pain or tenderness where your veins are bulging.
What treatments do you provide for visible vein removal in Surrey?
We offer non-surgical vein removal and solutions to get rid of visible veins. Our minimally-invasive procedures require very little downtime. They also assume fewer potential side effects than would be the case with surgical methods.
Options for Surrey varicose vein and spider vein treatments at our clinic include:
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy injections with infrared vein mapping
This safe procedure involves injecting a liquid or foam medication into your superficial veins (not your deep veins), where the pooling is taking place. This type of formulation is called a sclerosing agent. It creates an intentional scar on the vein walls, so that they dissolve, permanently. Eventually, your body removes these tissues through the liver. This way, your blood must find another vein to flow through – one that is not varicose.
Many surface-level, varicose veins can be treated with simple, ‘naked-eye’ injections, by a qualified doctor.
However, we use two added tools to help us see where your veins are under your skin, with infrared technology and a duplex ultrasound device. This makes our procedure more accurate.
Using our added technologies, we can map the entire anatomy of your venous system. This shows us precisely where you are forming varicosity, which is hard to see when they are deeper in your legs. From there, sclerotherapy injections can be better targeted, for lower chances of recurrence.
A duplex ultrasound examination can also reveal more serious vein issues, like deep vein thrombosis, if they exist.
Sclerotherapy can also be used on saphenous veins in the groin area, or the hands, arms and neck.
The term, “micro-sclerotherapy” refers to the same procedure, but uses a much thinner needle to target smaller spider veins.
Sclerotherapy points to keep in mind:
- The procedure is effective about 80% of the time, depending on your body’s own reaction to the treatment.
- After the procedure, you’ll be able to go home and return to normal activities right away.
- Wear compression stockings as directed, after the procedure.
- Avoid the sun for a few weeks after the procedure.
- To heal well, ensure you make time for a light exercise routine, at least 10 minutes per day (e.g. go for a short walk). Don’t participate in heavy exercise, but do get up and move around multiple times a day.
- Avoid alcohol and blood-thinning medications, like Aspirin, before and after the procedure.
- If you have remaining visible veins, or need a ‘touch up’ treatment, you’ll need to wait at least 3 weeks before your next session. Ongoing injections will likely be needed, depending on how easily you form varicose veins.
Vascular laser treatments
Our excel® V laser is an upgrade to the popular VBeam laser. Both are meant to target red, blue and purple pigments in the skin. In other words – the visible blood that creates vascular lesions like spider veins or reticular veins. It also works on redness, and for skin tightening too.
This vascular laser is effective at disintegrating the tiny blood capillaries that show near the surface of your skin (i.e. the redness and lines). When they are destroyed, you get a reduction in visible veins on your face, feet or legs. Your body naturally removes the cells that have been killed off by the laser. Blood begins using a deeper vein pathway, which is not visible outwardly.
With this method, the condition can return in some people, but only if those capillaries reform near the skin’s surface.
The excel® V laser is not meant for large, varicose veins. It is also a different procedure than laser endovenous ablation, explained below, which we don’t offer at our clinic.
Compression stockings (compression socks, hosiery, etc.)
At our Surrey clinic, we sell medical-grade compression wear to help prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Their strength is higher than what you can find in stores, and must be acquired with a prescription.
Compression stockings are often necessary after sclerotherapy or vein laser procedures, as a furtherance to your treatment. Not wearing compression socks or leggings can make it more likely that your varicose veins will return. Though, recurrence is inevitable for those who are genetically prone to venous insufficiency in the first place.
Compression stockings work by squeezing your legs, so that blood can more easily flow upward to your heart, against the force of gravity. Remember, varicosity is basically the loss of elasticity and strength in the superficial veins, where muscles are not present to help with the ‘squeezing’ job. So, by wearing compression socks, your legs, and veins, get the added support to keep blood flowing properly.
Compression socks must be fitted appropriately, and worn according to instructions, in order to work. We fit our patients for the right socks they need, and the pressure they need, at our Surrey clinic, when performing vein treatments.
Dermal filler injections for hand veins
If you are unhappy with veins showing in your hands, we may be able to help. In some cases, our Surrey dermal filler treatments can be used to plump up your thinning skin. When the skin is raised and volumized, veins are less likely to be visible in this area.
However, hand veins should be looked at by a doctor, before doing this type of treatment, to rule out other serious issues. Thankfully, we have doctors on staff, who can gauge the safety of using dermal fillers in your hands.
Are your Surrey vein treatments painful?
Sclerotherapy does not involve anaesthesia, since it is not that painful. However, depending on your pain tolerance, you may experience a stinging sensation. This doesn’t last very long. Patients also go home on the same day as the procedure, and return to normal activities right away (see notes above for more on this).
Vein laser treatments can hurt a little bit, but the process is tolerable for most people. The sensation is like an elastic band snapping against the skin, in many pulses. Typically, no anaesthetic is used with the excel® V laser, thanks to its built-in cooling device, which helps to relieve pain.
Compression stockings should not hurt, nor cause swelling. If they do, you may be wearing the wrong size. Please book an appointment at our clinic, so we can take a look, if this is the case.
What are the risks of sclerotherapy and vascular laser treatments for veins?
With sclerotherapy injections, there can always be the risk of:
- Allergic reactions to the sclerosing agent (sodium tetradecyl sulfate, saline or polidocanol), or even the bandages used after the treatment.
- Bruising and tenderness, which heals in due time.
- A bump in the skin, which may need to be manually drained, if it does not heal on its own (usually within a month).
Pregnant women, or those with known blood clots or allergies to sclerosing medication should not undergo this treatment.
Severe side effects of sclerotherapy are very rare. We will let you know of all the possible side effects during your initial consultation with us.
With laser vein treatments, there is always the potential of:
- Discolouration or burn marks (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). These often heal in time, or can be treated after they occur.
With all visible vein treatments, there will be the chance of recurrence. This has to do with being genetically disposed to forming varicosity and telangiectasias. While the targeted veins that were previously treated are certainly not causing varicose veins anymore, your body may form new ones.
If your varicose veins return, your visible problem may also be rooted somewhere deeper in your legs.
Please note: vein treatments have an 80 – 93% chance of being effective. Doctors can not guarantee your body will respond to treatments, nor how many treatments you may need, to solve your issue completely.
What other options are there for treating visible leg veins?
We do not do any invasive procedures for vein removal at our Surrey clinic. Surgical options for treating varicose veins are usually done in cases where the veins are quite large, dangerous or painful. Afterwards, maintenance, or ‘touch ups’ with sclerotherapy and lasers may be needed, to target the ‘off-shoot’ visible veins, which are usually left behind. We do these less-invasive procedures.
The surgical options for visible veins in the legs include:
Vein-stripping surgery with ligation – this is the manual removal of the greater saphenous vein (GSV), located in your legs, which is thought to be the main cause of varicosity. After removing damaged parts of veins, the leftover openings are closed shut with a ligation procedure. Note that your leg can remain numb after this procedure.
Microphlebectomy (a.k.a. ambulatory phlebectomy, stab avulsion) – this is the removal of large problem veins by several small incisions (2 to 3 millimetres wide), every 5 to 10 centimetres apart along the vein line. Though the incisions are small, and heal easily, this is still considered a surgical procedure (though it is an out-patient one). Local anaesthetic is used.
Transilluminated powered phlebectomy (TIPP) – this is a newer way to do the above procedure, using different medical instruments.
Radiofrequency or laser endovenous ablation therapy (EVLT) – this involves inserting a probe into the vein, and sending heat-causing energy to the affected area (with radio frequency or laser light). The result is that the varicose vein is destroyed, and blood is rerouted to healthy veins.
Preventative measures to help avoid varicose veins in the first place, include:
- Walking and exercising more often.
- Keeping your legs raised as much as possible, about 6 to 12 inches above your heart, for at least 15 to 30 minutes per day.
- Not wearing tight clothing when sitting too long, such as on an airplane ride, at a work desk, or when watching TV.
- Get a leg massage after sitting or standing for long periods, to help ‘perk up’ your blood flow again.
- Wear medical-grade compression stockings.
If you have a venous insufficiency or blood circulation problems, you may need medication to help manage it. We encourage you to speak to your doctor about this option.
What is the cost of treating venous abnormalities at your Surrey clinic?
Depending on the size and quantities of your visible veins, the price of vein treatments can vary significantly. The best way to get an accurate estimate for your case is to book a consultation at our Surrey clinic. There, we’ll be able to learn more about your condition, and recommend a treatment path we think will work on you.
Our initial consultations do have a fee. However, this fee is later credited to treatments at our clinic, if booked within a certain time frame. That said our consults, in and of themselves, are a great source of information and education.
To give you a very general idea (not to be taken as a final price, at all), we can say that our cosmetic vein treatment sessions start at around $350, and go up from there.
You may need more than one session to completely clear out your varicose veins or spider veins. And, if your body forms new ones, you may want to come in for touch-up treatments.
Cosmetic vein removal – the only kind offered at our clinic – is not covered by MSP in B.C., nor most private insurance companies.
If you are not sure whether your vein thrombosis is dangerous or not, we strongly recommend seeing a doctor, as a first step. You should be tested for more serious blood clotting or vein diseases, before seeking treatments at our aesthetic clinic.
Compression stockings may be covered by private health plans. We encourage you to ask your provider for more information. Our high-grade prescription stockings cost roughly $100 to $160 per pair. They are stylish, and come in various designs. As an added bonus, they help with leg tiredness and swelling, too. We do fittings for free when buying compression stockings from us.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.