Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Spider veins are thin, red blood vessels appearing alone or in a web-like pattern that can occur on the legs, feet, chest, or face — and millions of men and women are bothered by them. While they are generally harmless, veins on the legs may cause an ache or burning sensation after long periods of standing or sitting. Varicose veins are larger — usually more than a quarter-inch in diameter — darker in color and tend to bulge. Larger, more advanced varicose veins typically require surgical intervention. Sclerotherapy is an effective technique that has been used for many years to treat small varicose and spider veins.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a simple office procedure which involves a small injection of a solution directly into the affected veins. The medication causes the lining of the vein to swell, eventually sealing off the vein, and preventing high pressure from getting in the vein. The vein hardens and is absorbed by the body over the course of eight to ten weeks, much like a bruise, fading away over time.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy
- Normalizes blood flow to the skin
- No incisions and no scarring
- Safe, virtually painless, in-office treatment
- Walk-in to walk-out time is typically 30 minutes
What it the treatment like?
Sclerotherapy will take about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the number of vessels and will be done right in our office. There is no need for anesthesia and the entire procedure is fast and easy. Most of our patients report minimal pain, along with a possible minor burning sensation at the injection site. We first clean the skin with an antiseptic solution and then inject the solution into the damaged veins using an ultra-fine needle.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sclerotherapy treatments needed to remove the vein varies from patient to patient, depending on the extent of the problem. Treatment sessions performed at 4-6 week intervals achieve optimal results.
When will I see results?
Results of treatment are not instant, but veins fade over time. It takes about 4-6 weeks for the vessels to fade and eventually becoming barely noticeable or invisible. As with all treatments, individual results may vary.
When can I pursue normal activities again?
You will be able to walk immediately after the treatment but should avoid strenuous exercise for 1 week after the procedure. It is advised to walk every day for at least 10 minutes. Try not to sit or lie down for long periods of time. Please avoid prolonged heat exposure such as sauna, spa, tanning beds etc. You can expect veins to look worse before looking better in approximately 4-6 weeks.
What does the aftercare consist of?
Compression stockings will need to be worn for several days after treatment. Patients typically also experience some bruising or discoloration after treatment. We recommend that strenuous exercise be avoided for a week after treatment. Avoid UV exposure for at least two weeks after your treatment.
Are the results permanent?
You may need additional treatments in the future, if new problem veins develop. Unfortunately, the conditions that caused your spider or varicose veins are not likely to change, meaning that more could develop. Many people are genetically predisposed, and aggravating factors such as standing or sitting for extended periods at work, are not easily altered.