Procedures: Vein Treatments

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small red or blue veins that appear just underneath the surface of the skin on the thighs and lower legs as we age. The primary driver for getting these lesions is hereditary and virtually everyone who has these have one or two parents with the same thing. They are not related to sitting, standing, crossing one’s legs, etc. and do not predispose you to blood clots in the legs. They generally don’t cause any symptoms they are simply unsightly.

What are the treatment options?

There are two main ways of treating spider veins on the legs. The fist is sclerotherapy in which a material known as a sclerosant is injected through a very tiny needle into the veins. Flushing the vein with this material then causes the vein to scar over from the inside and therefore close down. It is unusual that more than one or several treatments may be necessary. The treatment is virtually painless and the main side effect is a temporary discoloration over the veins as it heals. Unfortunately, more veins may develop over time so repeat treatments may be necessary. The second way of treating these is with a vascular laser. In this treatment a laser is used to create damage on the inside of the blood vessels instead of the injection. You still may need more than one treatment. The likelihood of discoloration is perhaps slightly less with the laser.

How does Sclerotherapy or Vein Treatment work?

With a small needle, an FDA-approved sclerosant is injected directly into the vein in a relatively painless procedure. The sclerosant causes the blood vessel to clot, allowing it to heal over time. Eventually, healthy tissue replaces the treated vein. Typically, this process will produce the desired results after 4-6 treatments.

What are the side effects of Sclerotherapy or laser treatment?

Although relatively painless, you may experience some side effects such as itching, burning, or redness at the treated site. These sensations usually fade within several minutes of completing the session. Rarely, some patients may experience mild muscle aches/cramps for the first couple of days. Wearing compression stockings after the treatment along with avoiding exercise, exposure to heat, and direct sun will help reduce discomfort. Gentle flexing of the legs may also help provide relief. Sedation is not necessary for this procedure.

What should I expect after my Vein Treatment?

Bruising is an expected part of the healing process, and the treated areas will look worse before healing. You will typically start to see results around 6-8 weeks after treatment, with full results visible after 3 months. Keep in mind that sclerotherapy can only target existing spider veins - if you are predisposed, you may need continuing treatments to target any new problem areas.

For achieving fresh clean legs with unsightly veins:

Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified Sclerotherapyor medical dermatologists by calling:
(206) 267-2100.

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