Millions of men and women live with embarrassing appearance of spider veins. Now, with the minimally-invasive technique called sclerotherapy, they don’t have to.
Spider veins (not to be confused with varicose veins) are dilated or stretched blood vessels. This blood vessels have a branching pattern. Often found on the thigh, lower leg and occasionally on the face. Spider veins are progressive in nature and usually increase in number and visibility with age.
You are a good candidate for sclerotherapy and laser treatment if:
- If you are embarrassed by the prominent branching spider veins visible on your thighs and lower legs.
- You avoid wearing shorts or swimming apparel because you don’t want others to see your spider veins.
- The spider veins on your face are unsightly, and you must use makeup to camouflage them.
- You are in good overall health and not pregnant.
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive technique. It is ultrasound-guided technique combined with laser vein treatments. This treats these vessels, erasing them from the skin. Sclerotherapy is effective for medium-sized blood vessels (greater than three millimeters in diameter).
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the vein that forces it to collapse, which stops blood flow. The vein will turn into a scar and fade after a few weeks. Most people who receive this treatment see a 50 to 90 percent improvement. The complete removal of spider veins is not expected in the first treatment, and multiple treatments may be required for optimal results.
The smaller, fine, reddish spider veins are treated with lasers because they’re harder to inject.
Sclerotherapy and laser therapy are safe, time-proven procedures. These procedures cause little, if any discomfort. They provide an improvement in the appearance of spider veins, and there is no downtime. Patients can immediately resume work and almost all normal activities.
In advance of your procedure, your vascular surgeon will ask you to stop smoking before undergoing treatment. This is to promote better healing. Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding. Regardless of the type of procedure, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Spider vein treatment is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after treatment and to stay with you at least the first night following treatment.
There may be some skin reddening, bruising, and blistering, but these side effects subside over a couple of weeks to a couple of months. For most patients, normal activity may be resumed immediately. However, you will need to protect the area(s) treated from sun exposure.
Since spider veins are a progressive condition, you can expect new spider veins to form over time, which may require additional treatment every few years to maintain the improvement. If you have spider veins or if you are concerned that you may have it varicose veins, contact us at Coastal Vascular Center today. We have a range of treatment options for you.