Spider veins are small, red, purple, or blue veins that can appear on the legs and face. While they may not be painful or cause any medical problems, they can be unsightly and embarrassing for some people. Spider veins become more common with age, especially for women. Possible causes include sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations, obesity, and standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Fortunately, there is an effective treatment option available to help reduce the appearance of spider veins, and it’s called sclerotherapy. Here, we will discuss what you can expect from sclerotherapy and tips for aftercare.
What to Expect
Sclerotherapy is classified as a minimally invasive procedure to treat spider veins. It’s minimally invasive because the procedure involves injections using a very fine needle. No scalpel or incisions are involved in the procedure.
During the treatment, the vein specialist injects a chemical solution, or a sclerosant, into the spider vein, which causes irritation within the vein wall. Eventually, it will cause the wall to collapse, and develop scar tissue. As a result, the blood that used to flow through the spider vein will be rerouted through healthier veins, causing the spider veins to eventually disappear.
This process usually takes between one to three treatments depending on how severe your spider veins are. However, it’s important to note that results may vary from person to person, as everyone’s body responds differently to treatment.
Before undergoing sclerotherapy for spider veins, you should expect your doctor will perform an initial consultation during which they will assess your problem to determine if this is the best type of treatment for you. Vein doctors take into consideration the patient’s age, medical history, and lifestyle before making this recommendation.
During each session of sclerotherapy, you may experience some mild discomfort, but should not experience any pain, which is why the procedure does not involve the use of anesthesia. Let your vein specialist know if you are experiencing pain.
There may be some bruising at the injection sites, which should go away within a couple of weeks. Redness is also a normal reaction and usually resolves within 24 hours.
After completing all your sessions of sclerotherapy for spider veins, there are several things you should do to maintain optimal results:
- Wear compression stockings as long as your doctor prescribes
- Keep legs elevated as often as possible
- Avoid strenuous activities at least for the first seven to 10 days
- Do not take warm baths until the doctor has given you clearance
- Stay out of direct sunlight until you have fully healed
- Use sunscreen regularly even after healing is complete
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
If you see redness increasing or pus formation, or if you develop a fever, seek medical attention immediately and inform your vein specialist. Otherwise, this treatment carries very little risk, and complications are rare.
Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins in Tampa, FL
Dr. Edward Mackay is a board-certified and fellowship-trained vascular surgeon in Tampa offering sclerotherapy as a spider vein treatment. Dr. Mackay will assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, or if another type of vein treatment is more appropriate.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mackay, call our office today at (727) 349-5652 or use our convenient online request form. Our vein clinics are located in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and Largo. Our friendly staff looks forward to assisting you!