What is Sclerotherapy?
Many women are bothered by spider veins — small red, blue or purple veins appearing just under their skin. The lines are actually enlarged capillaries and veins that are more prominent and superficial than normal. Though they are most commonly seen on the legs, they can appear almost anywhere.
A number of factors may contribute to the development of spider veins including:
These vessels can be treated with a simple procedure called sclerotherapy.
How Sclerotherapy Works
During sclerotherapy, a chemical solution called a sclerosing agent is injected into the vein, which quickly and often permanently collapses it leaving the skin looking natural. This simple procedure is performed during an office visit.
The needle used for the treatment is very fine, and many patients say the procedure is virtually painless. A typical treatment takes about 30 minutes.
Depending on the extent of the spider veins, several treatments may be necessary. Though these veins will not come back, it is possible for other spider veins to appear later in the same area.
Sclerotherapy can also treat minor varicose veins. Varicose veins are blue, enlarged and sometimes painful veins that appear in the legs. More serious varicose veins require surgery by a vascular surgeon.
Penn Plastic Surgery also offers cutting-edge laser treatment for spider veins. A consultation with one of our highly skilled and practiced surgeons can help you determine the right procedure for you based on your desired outcome.
Who is a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Spider veins can be treated at any age. Though it is much more common for women to have spider and varicose veins, sclerotherapy is equally effective for men.
What to Expect with Sclerotherapy
A medical evaluation is performed prior to sclerotherapy to ensure that you have a healthy vein system. An ultrasound may be ordered to determine the extent of the varicose veins as well as the condition of the deeper veins that may not be visible.
Recovering after Sclerotherapy
After sclerotherapy or laser surgery to remove spider veins, bruising may last for up to three months. Patients wear compression bandages for several days immediately following the sclerotherapy session to reduce swelling. Personalized after-care instructions help hasten recovery and produce desired results.
Risks of Sclerotherapy
Risks associated with sclerotherapy are rare and often mild. It is possible for the sclerosing agent to come in contact with and damage nearby skin. This can cause a temporary change in skin color.