Spider veins on the legs appear as branch like red or blue vessels. They are much more common in women, particularly after pregnancy and can be painful when enlarged. If left untreated, veins can become larger and varicose and are associated with swelling and ulcerations.
The most common technique for spider vein treatment is injection sclerotherapy. This is a micro-injection technique consisting of instilling one of several solutions into these small capillaries. The most common solution is.1-1% Sotradecol. The concentration and quantity of solution used depends on the size and length of the vessel treated. Sotradecol irritates the inner lining of the vessels so the vessels cease to carry blood and the body slowly replaces them with scar tissue without harming the circulation.
Laser treatments of spider veins are also available as a backup or secondary treatment for vessels too small to treat or do not respond to sclerotherapy. We utilize four different Laser devices including:
Strenuous physical activity or prolonged periods of standing should be avoided for the first 24 hours after spider vein treatment. Support hose should be worn for 2-3 weeks. Normal light activity or exercise is suggested.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon will the vessels disappear?
Each vessel may require 2-3 injections. The vessels disappear over a period of 2 weeks to 2 months. Recurrences can occur over a period of 1-5 years. This treatment does not prevent new vessels from occurring.
What are the side effects? (Most patients have little side effect)
- Slight discoloration may occur as the vessels are resolving. This discoloration can last for several weeks to several months.
- Bruising can happen when vessels are very weak and can last from 2 weeks to 2 months.
- A Clot could develop at the injection site, but will never cause internal problems.
- Swelling is particularly common when patients have jobs in which they stand for long periods of time, or in which vessels in the ankle or lower portions of the legs are involved.
Is this method superior to Laser?
This procedure is less painful then with Lasers. The Laser is a more expensive treatment and is usually reserved for vessels which do not respond to injection therapy.
Will my insurance cover this treatment?
This procedure is generally not covered by medical insurances; it is considered a cosmetic procedure.