Similar to Varicose and Spider Veins, Reticular Veins are another form of Venous Disease, and develop as a result of Chronic Vascular Insufficiency (CVI). Although less common, these types of vein conditions can contribute to both cosmetic and health issues. They are identified as being purple or blue in colour, and are roughly 2mm in diameter.
We regularly see patients with Reticular Veins form in the upper and lower leg areas, which occur as a result of damaged or weakened vein valves. Reticular Veins are also known as feeder veins, as they can in some cases feed into Spider Veins.
Similar to Varicose and Spider Veins, Reticular Veins can be caused by a number of factors including pre-existing health conditions, genetics/heredity disorders, as well as occupations involving standing for long periods of time and regular movement. We also see patients develop Reticular Veins as a result of:
Reticular Veins symptoms have similar characteristics to Varicose Veins, and it is advised that you seek medical treatment if you are experiencing any of the below:
It is important to note that Reticular veins are more often than not a cosmetic issue and can be treated easily with modern technologies and techniques.
The treatment is a walk in and walk out procedure with little down time, and lasts roughly between 30-45 minutes. Once the treatment is complete, it is recommended to avoid any heavy lifting or any strenuous activity, such as gym work for 5-7 days hours. Short walks lasting for around 20-30 minutes each day for 5-7 days after the procedure is recommended, and are part of the treatment process.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Berman will undergo a series of tests in order to determine the appropriate type of treatment for you. These tests will include an examination of the affected area, as well as an ultrasound scan. During this consultation, your medical history, and any pre-existing conditions will be discussed in order to determine the best course of action.
No, Reticular Veins do not disappear on their own and it is recommended that you seek medical advice. As the natural history of vein disease is for progression, these veins over time can produce symptoms such as discomfort and skin changes e.g. in the affected area. Although there are ways you can help alleviate some of these symptoms, such as weight loss or using compression stockings, the overall damage to the veins is already present.
Ultrasound Guided Scleropathy is the most common procedure used to treat Reticular Veins, and is a process whereby a chemical solution is injected directly into the affected blood vessel with a fine needle. The solution causes an irritation in the lining of the vessel, destroying it. The treated vein is then slowly removed by the body as it would a bruise.
The main differences between Reticular, Spider and Varicose Veins are their size, shape and colour.
Reticular veins are usually 2mm wide, and are blue or green in colour. They also are below the surface and cannot be felt.
Varicose veins are 2.5mm or larger, can be felt above the skin due to the vein bulging and are a dark blue or purple in colour. Their appearance is quite distinctive and looks like a series of cords on your legs.
Spider Veins are the smallest of the three types, and are 1 to 1.5mm in diameter. They appear with blue, green or red colouring, and cannot be felt above the skin. Of the different types of Venous Disease, Spider Veins most closely resemble their name, as they appear in a series of ‘spider web’ shapes under the skin.
There are a few ways that you can create temporary relief such as elevating your legs, creating more blood flow and relieving pressure and swelling. We also sometimes recommend patients use compression stockings – this is particularly important in occupations that require lots of physical movement and standing for extended periods.
Over time though if not treated and symptoms are getting worse, Reticular Veins can result in severe chronic venous insufficiency symptoms developing, which can have significant health implications.
For more information about Reticular Veins and the various treatment options please contact our practice on 03 9561 5155 to book in your consultation with Dr. Berman. Our team will be able to provide further details about what to expect on your first visit, as well as what to bring along to your appointment.