Varicose Veins vs Spider Veins

Although patients often use the terms spider veins and varicose veins interchangeably, these are two separate issues that affect the health of your venous system differently. Spider veins and varicose veins are similar in that they are both unsightly, but both are easily treatable. The details below highlight the differences in spider veins vs. varicose veins.

Spider Veins

  • Cosmetic in nature, though they can be symptomatic or an indicator of severe underlying vein problems.
  • Typically measure less than one millimeter in diameter, unless they are clustered together. Spider veins are usually not as noticeable to the naked eye as bulging varicose veins.
  • Appear as thread-like, red, blue or purplish lines on the skin surface, often times resembling a bruise when they occur in clusters.
  • Primarily treated with sclerotherapy injections, the “gold standard” of care for the treatment of spider veins. May also be combined with laser treatments with a series of three to six treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart.
  • Treatment is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.

Varicose Veins

  • Medical in nature, generally a symptom of a deeper, underlying issue in the venous system.
  • Large, dilated, bulging veins protruding above the level of the skin, often looking like bluish rope underneath the skin. These bulging veins tend to be associated with symptoms of pain, heaviness, swelling and aching in the leg.
  • Following an initial consultation and ultrasound, varicose veins may be treated via in-office endovenous laser ablation. This is often in conjunction with ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation, depending on the severity and source of the diseased veins.
  • Treatment is covered by insurance if the patient is symptomatic or has had complications, and the ultrasound shows venous reflux (backwards flow of blood in veins).

Why Choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz

When you choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz for your vein procedure, you will be working with an experienced physician who specializes in vein disease. Dr. Schwartz is known as Kansas City’s “Original Vein Doctor” and the only triple board-certified vascular surgeon performing vein treatments in the area. Premier Vein & Body was founded in 2003 and was one of the first vein treatment centers in the Kansas City area. Dr. Schwartz is certified as an RVT (Registered Vascular Technician) and RPVI (Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation). These certifications are in venous ultrasounds technology, ensuring the most thorough diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. With over 12,000 vein procedures performed, we’re confident that we can help you no matter what your vein condition might be.

To learn more about the treatment of Spider Veins or Varicose Veins, schedule your free vein screening* with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at (913) 451-8346 . Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves Kansas CityLeawood, and Overland Park. 

**Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Consult with Dr. Schwartz to see if you are a good candidate.

* Initial free vein screening will include a visual evaluation and subsequent discussion with Dr. Schwartz.  However, if patient presents with symptoms of vein disease (not just spider veins), a diagnostic test, such as a venous ultrasound/duplex examination, that is considered medically necessary per the physician’s determination, will be billed as a separate charge, and $450 will be billed to your insurance provider.  Pending your carrier’s response, you may be ultimately responsible for some portion or ALL of this charge, which may include deductibles, co-insurance and/or co-pays. If your insurance company denies this charge, your patient responsibility portion may be partially discounted if you proceed with vein disease treatment through our office.