Frequently Asked Questions - Vein Center of the Palm Beaches
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955 Sansburys Way, Suite 209 West Palm Beach

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are varicose veins and spider veins?
    • Varicose (VAR-i-kos) veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg. During pregnancy, varicose veins can form around the vagina and buttocks.
      Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.


  • What causes varicose veins and spider veins?
    • Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.
      Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries.


  • How common are abnormal leg veins?
    • About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.


  • What factors increase my risk of varicose veins and spider veins?
    • Many factors increase a person’s chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include:
      • Increasing age. As you get older, the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well.
      • Medical history. Being born with weak vein valves increases your risk. Having family members with vein problems also increases your risk. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family member who has them too.
      • Hormonal changes. These occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also may contribute to the forming of varicose or spider veins.
      • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause veins to enlarge. The growing uterus also puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within 3 months after delivery. More varicose veins and spider veins usually appear with each additional pregnancy.
      • Obesity. Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins.
      • Lack of movement. Sitting or standing for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This may be a bigger problem if you sit with your legs bent or crossed.
      • Sun exposure. This can cause spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person.
      Most varicose and spider veins appear in the legs due to the pressure of body weight, force of gravity, and task of carrying blood from the bottom of the body up to the heart.
      Compared with other veins in the body, leg veins have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure. This pressure can be stronger than the one-way valves in the veins.


  • What are the signs of varicose veins?
    • Varicose veins can often be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:
      • Aching pain that may get worse after sitting or standing for a long time
      • Throbbing or cramping
      • Heaviness
      • Swelling
      • Rash that’s itchy or irritated
      • Darkening of the skin (in severe cases)
      • Restless legs


  • Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous?
    • Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. If there are symptoms from spider veins, most often they will be itching or burning. Less often, spider veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside that you can’t see on the skin. If so, you could have the same symptoms you would have with varicose veins.
      Varicose veins may not cause any problems, or they may cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. These include:
      • Sores or skin ulcers due to chronic (long-term) backing up of blood. These sores or ulcers are painful and hard to heal. Sometimes they cannot heal until the backward blood flow in the vein is repaired.
      • Bleeding. The skin over the veins becomes thin and easily injured. When an injury occurs, there can be significant blood loss.
      • Superficial thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fli-BYT-uhs), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein just below the skin. Symptoms include skin redness; a firm, tender, warm vein; and sometimes pain and swelling.
      • Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a deeper vein. It can cause a “pulling” feeling in the calf, pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. However, sometimes it causes no significant symptoms. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal.


  • Should I see a doctor about varicose veins?
    • You should see a doctor about varicose veins if:
      • The vein has become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch
      • There are sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle
      • The skin on the ankle and calf becomes thick and changes color
      • One of the varicose veins begins to bleed
      • Your leg symptoms are interfering with daily activities
      • The appearance of the veins is causing you distress


  • How will I be diagnosed?
    • You will be diagnosed on a physical exam.  Dr. Navarro will look at your legs while you are standing or sitting and ask about your symptoms/pain.
      Dr. Navarro will then do an ultrasound, which is used to see the veins’ structure, check the blood flow in your veins, and look for blood clots. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of structures in your body.
      About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.


  • Is treatment covered by my insurance?Varicose Vein treatment as a health concern and medical condition such as pain, swelling, and bleeding are covered by most insurance companies. Spider vein treatment is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. We will work closely with you to determine your carrier’s coverage. Call us today for more information 561.285.4728
    We accept:Blue Cross/Blue Shield
    United Health Care
    Cigna many other carriers


  • Why should I choose the Vein Center of Palm Beach?There are several reasons to choose the Vein Center of Palm BeachYour evaluation and procedure will be performed by a Board Certified Phlebologist in a state of the art facility.
    Dr. Navarro is a leading specialist in the industry of vein treatment and has over 21 years of experience.
    We pride ourselves in providing excellent care and service to our patients.
    Please call our office for more information 561.285.4728


  • What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are veins that have lost the ability to pump blood as efficiently and have stretched and swollen with blood. They are large and unsightly, looking similar to large blue or purple vines. Varicose veins are often painful and especially when standing or walking.


  • What causes Varicose Veins?

To understand how varicose veins occur you must understand how veins work, veins have little door like contraptions called valves that disable blood from flowing backwards. As time goes by some of those veins and valves can wear down and become engorged with blood, that is a varicose vein. They mostly show up on your ankles, feet and legs because gravity is constantly pulling your blood down and those veins have to work twice as hard to pump the blood back to the heart. They are painful for people who have them especially after sitting or standing for a long period of time.


  • Are there health risks involved with varicose veins?

There are some health risks involving varicose veins including:

-Swollen leg
-Ulcers (open sores)- this occurs when the engorged vein does not drain enough fluid properly from the skin
-Fungal/bacterial infections- these also may occur due to fluid buildup under the skin, these infections also increase risk of tissue infection
-Thrombosis- this is where blood clots form inside the enlarged vein


  • How will Dr. Navarro treat my varicose veins?

There are several methods for treating varicose veins and spider veins. After completing your thorough evaluation, Dr. Navarro will recommend the least invasive treatment that will give you the best results.


  • What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small blue and red blood vessels that look similar to tree branches or because they twist and turn. They are visible through the skin in a large or small quantity and can be seen on the face, legs, feet or, chest.


  • What causes spider veins?

They are caused by blood backup in the veins and can also appear because of injuries, sun exposure or hormone changes such as puberty or menopause. Problems with spider veins are fairly common for men and women, but more prominent in women. At the Vein and Cosmetic Center of the Palm Beaches, Dr. Navarro will examine your problem area and discuss what treatment is best suited for your needs.


  • What are the health risks involved with spider veins?

Spider veins have no health risks and are purely cosmetic. Although in some rare cases, you may experience aching, heaviness, stinging sensations, itching, and night cramps.


  • How will Dr. Navarro treat my spider veins?

There are several methods for treating varicose veins and spider veins. After completing your thorough evaluation, Dr. Navarro will recommend the least invasive treatment that will give you the best results.


If you are looking for Spider Vein treatment in West Palm Beach, give us a call today to schedule your appointment!