Treatment of Leg Veins
How do you get Spider Veins/Varicose Veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins of the legs are an embarrassing and sometimes painful condition. They affect millions of men and women alike and their development is influenced by many factors including heredity, pregnancy, activity, and underlying medical conditions. Varicose veins are raised, thick and ropey vessels. They occur when the larger blood vessels in the lower legs become stretched out and fail to effectively return blood to the heart. Varicose veins should be evaluated and treated by a specialist such as a vascular surgeon. Spider veins occur in smaller vessels closer to the surface of the skin. They can appear singly, or have a branched or webbed appearance. These vessels may be affectively treated in our office with sclerotherapy or laser therapy.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a salt solution, known as a sclerosing agent, is injected directly into the vessel being treated. The lining of the vessel becomes irritated, leading to a closing off of the vein. After permanent scarred closure, the body eventually absorbs the vessel. The sclerosing solution is injected with a very fine needle, smaller than the vessel itself, so the procedure involves minimal discomfort.
What complications can happen with sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy was first developed in the 1930s and it remains the best treatment for spider veins. Over all of these years, it has been used on millions of veins around the globe and proven to be safe and effective. There is a very low risk of reaction to the sclerosant solution. You may also have some slight redness and irritation at the injection sites, but this passes quickly.
Are sclerotherapy results permanent?
Yes, when the sclerosant agent reacts with the vein, the vein wall collapses and closes off the vein. This vein is now unused and the body will scavenge and get rid of it. While the treated veins are gone for good, that does not mean you cannot develop new spider veins.
Can I have sclerotherapy while I am pregnant?
Pregnancy exacerbates the pressure that can cause spider veins. When you have delivered your child, your legs and their spider veins will relax and they may resolve on their own. Regardless, at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, as a precautionary measure, we do not provide sclerotherapy on pregnant women, nor do any reputable practitioners.
Is sclerotherapy done in-office?
Yes, this is a simple procedure. We use a very tiny needle and the injections are very shallow and short in duration. A number of spider veins can be treated in a single short session in either of our Hillsboro locations.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare before sclerotherapy?
You need to stop taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for one week before your appointment. These can exacerbate bruising. You should also be sure you have compression stockings in your size so that you can wear for five days after your appointment. These should be medium compression (20 to 30 Hg).
What is the Sclerotherapy Recovery Time?
Recovery times and Sclerotherapy results will vary depending on the size and number of vessels, and how easily they are visualized. Most patients see will see significant improvement within 3 months of treatments. Patients are encouraged to wear compression stockings for a few weeks after sclerotherapy to optimize results. A “touch up” session is always performed two months after the intial injection. Results will vary depending on the size and number of vessels, and how easily they are visualized.
Laser therapy may also be performed on spider veins using the Vbeam pulsed-dye laser. It is best for very fine vessels that cannot be injected with a needle. Lasers are often used to complement treatment with sclerotherapy.
For more information on the treatment of spider veins/varicose veins schedule an appointment by calling us today!