Even if the summer is over, it is not really easy for people who have spider veins to wear skirts or shorts. Thanks to the sclerotherapy, the embarrassment is over. Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that diminishes unsightly spider veins and slightly larger veins of the extremities.
Millions of Americans have some kind of venous disorder. The venous desirers can be genetic or acquired. We can get venous disorders from pregnancy, trauma, venous congestive problems as well as lifestyle issues such as sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time (65% and 30% of patients respectively). How do you know you have a venous problem? Just take a look at your legs. Do you have visible veins that are close to the skin surface that may have a branching pattern or look like a spider web? Do you have symptoms such as aching or burning legs, throbbing, fullness, heaviness or itchiness? If so, then you may benefit from sclerotherapy.
The procedure to treat these venous disorders requires the expertise of a specially trained physician or physician extender (nurse practitioner or physician assistant). Sclerotherapy requires the use of a fine needle to inject a sclerosant/medication into or over the vein depending on the size. The sclerosant irritates the lining of the vein, causing the walls of the vein initially to swell and the blood to clot. The vein eventually collapses and turns into scar tissue like any other healing process that is removed by the body or diminished over time.
The sclerotherapy procedure is used to treat spider veins (telangiectasias) and slightly larger (reticular) veins up to 2 millimeters in diameter. The larger veins (varicose veins and perforating veins) usually require endovascular treatments. The latter is more invasive requiring local anesthesia and a laser catheter device that is placed inside the vein ultimately doing the same job but on a larger scale and with laser technology instead of medications. A laser uses heat to irritate or burn the lining of the vein so that the blood coagulates and the vein collapses and scars down.
Careful post procedure care is needed with both sclerotherapy and laser therapy. It is important that proper compression hose is used for 5-7 days to assist in healing and complete collapse of the treated veins. It also helps with post procedure swelling that will occur locally for several days. Walking after the procedure is a very important part of the post procedure case. Compression hose and walking help to redirect the blood to flow into other veins and also prevent the development of blood clots. You must stay out of the sun with your new legs for up to a week or preferably longer to avoid hyper pigmentation of the healing veins.
Sclerotherapy and laser vein therapy are very effective treatments for those unsightly leg veins. Bad veins can also be a health risk and cause skin ulcerations if severe and if left untreated for too long. If you have varicosities or spider veins it is important to seek the advice of a health care provider that specializes in veins to determine the appropriate treatment for you. Here at Centre d’Elle, we have a specialty trained physician that can treat your unsightly spider veins and direct you to appropriate therapy to prevent further spider veins for forming.
Call for a free consultation with Dr. Jane or for any further information about sclerotherapy.