Sclerotherapy Treatment for Spider Veins
Serving Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and Largo, Clearwater, Tampa and Surrounding Areas
Dr. Mackay is a board-certified vascular surgeon with a facility dedicated to vein and circulation problems serving the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Mackay has specialty training in sclerotherapy with the ability to perform different techniques of this procedure to treat all of your vein and cosmetic needs.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a popular treatment approach to treat both spider veins and varicose veins. It is a newer treatment option over the last decade and has proven to be safe and effective. Sclerotherapy uses a chemical, called a sclerosant, that is injected directly into the affected veins.
The sclerosant elicits a reaction within the vein, causing the vein to scar on itself, preventing further blood through the affected vein, which is then resorbed by the body. Even though the affected vein is being scarred and removed, blood still flows through alternate routes.
VIDEO: Sclerotherapy vs Laser Treatment
In this video Dr. Mackay discusss the pros and cons of sclerotherapy vs laser treatment to get rid of spider veins. Learn more about Laser vs Sclerotherapy for spider veins.
Types of Sclerotherapy
There are 3 techniques available for sclerotherapy and each technique is used for varying reasons, such as the size of the spider veins or varicose veins. Prior to any sclerotherapy procedure, a detailed personal history, family history, examination of veins, and personal preferences will be discussed with Dr. Mackay, in order to decide on which technique he recommends. Based on the severity of the number of affected veins will determine how many treatments are necessary for optimal results.
The three types of Sclerotherapy includes:
- Conventional Sclerotherapy
- Foam Sclerotherapy
- Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy
1. Conventional Sclerotherapy
Conventional Sclerotherapy is the simplest technique for sclerotherapy, by which the sclerosant is a liquid consistency that is placed directly into the vein. This procedure utilizes a small needle and works best for the treatment of smaller veins.
2. Foam Sclerotherapy
Foam Sclerotherapy uses a different form of sclerosant, in which this is exposed to air to create a foam, rather than a liquid consistency. The sclerosant is still placed directly into the veins. There are specific advantages for the use of foam sclerotherapy due to it’s thicker consistency:
Smaller amounts of the sclerosant can be used in the affected vessels.
Larger veins can be treated.
It can be used with ultrasound for more precise administration.
3. Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy
Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy uses ultrasound for varicose veins that are deep or larger veins that are superficial. Ultrasound enhances the precision of the procedure, as some of the deep veins cannot be seen and may place pressure on more superficial veins, skewing which veins are truly causing the problem. This allows for the right veins to be treated to improve and treat the varicose veins.
The Sclerotherapy Procedure
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in the office, typically lasting about an hour. Most find only minimal discomfort during the procedure, but if needed, a topical anesthetic cream may be used. Several treatment sessions are necessary to fully treat the affected veins.
VIDEO: How Many Sclerotherapy Sessions does it Take?
In this video Dr. Mackay discusss how many sclerotherapy sessions it typically takes to remove spider veins.
Recovery time is usually fast, with a return to normal activities almost immediately. Compression stockings are a mainstay for treatment for at least 1-2 weeks to allow for good circulation. Dr. Mackay will discuss other post-procedural instructions that may be necessary.
Post-procedural pain is minimal and can be controlled with over the counter pain relievers. It will take several weeks for the treated veins to completely disappear. Even though these veins have been treated other veins in the leg are still subject to malfunction, leading to possible recurrence of varicose veins and spider veins in the future. To learn more, read our Sclerotherapy Recovery Guide.
VIDEO: Sclerotherapy Side Effects
In this video Dr. Mackay discusss the possible side effects of sclerotherapy treatments.
Sclerotherapy Treatment Before & After Photos
Actual patient before and after spider vein treatment photos.
Before (case 1)
After (case 1)
Before (case 2)
After (case 2)
Next Steps if you are interested in Sclerothearpy
If you’re concerned about circulation problems in your legs, varicose veins, and spider veins, contact Dr. Mackay today for a consultation to discuss your vein problems and the procedure that is right for you!