What are spider veins?
Spider veins are very small, superficial veins that may be red, blue, purplish, or greenish in color. Spider veins can develop anywhere on the body, but are more commonly found on the face and legs near the surface of the skin.
These delicate yet unsightly veins can diminish within weeks of treatment, making you appear years younger, healthier, and more attractive. Dr. Mathai typically uses Sclerotherapy as spider vein treatment.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the most common spider vein treatment. The doctor uses a very fine needle to inject a liquid chemical called Polidocanol into the vein. The chemical causes the vein walls to be irritated, swell, and close. This stops the flow of blood, and your body eventually absorbs the vein. In a few weeks, the appearance of the vein should fade. This treatment does not require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor’s office. You can return to normal activity right after treatment.
During the procedure, you may experience anything from a slight pinch and mild discomfort to no discomfort at all. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. The number of veins injected in one session varies, and depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient. By law, there is a limit to the amount of Polidocanol one can receive during treatment. Because of this, more than one session may be needed depending on the severity of the spider veins.
How To Prepare For Spider Vein Treatment
Prior to Sclerotherapy, you should avoid certain medications. Talk to your doctor about all medicines (including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements) you are taking. If you need to take an antibiotic before sclerotherapy, contact your doctor. No lotion should be applied to the legs before the procedure. Come to the appointment in loose fitting clothing and bring your compression stockings.
After The Procedure
It is not common, but you may experience certain side effects after Sclerotherapy. There are milder effects, such as itching, which can last for one or two days after the procedure. Also, you may experience raised, red areas at the injection site. These should disappear within a few days. Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks. Eating fresh pineapple and kiwi has been known to reduce bruising.
The same area may need to be treated more than once. Treatments are usually done every 4 to 6 weeks. It is recommended to wear gradient compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help with healing and decrease swelling. Walking as much as possible following the treatment promotes healing and better results. This treatment is very effective when done correctly.