Laser vs. Sclerotherapy Treatment for Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy and laser treatment are different approaches to vein ablation, where the aim is to cause scarring of the vein, sealing it shut, and preventing blood flow through it. Once this occurs, the body can then resorb the vein and it will no longer be visible under the skin.
Sclerotherapy uses a chemical means to achieve this, while laser treatment uses heat from concentrated laser light energy. In both cases, the chemical or laser light are applied directly – via injection or intravenous catheter, respectively – beginning with the largest vein. Both methods require multiple sessions to obtain the desired results.
At Edward G. Mackay and Associates, LLC we prefer sclerotherapy over laser treatment for the removal of spider veins.
Advantages of Sclerotherapy Over Laser Therapy
Board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Mackay is a proponent of sclerotherapy treatment to remove spider veins, for a number of reasons.
Although you might assume the opposite to be true, the heat of laser therapy causes what has been described by patients as feeling like a burning sensation during the procedure. The chemical used in sclerotherapy typically causes no pain whatsoever.
No Skin Discoloration
Spider veins treated with laser therapy are subject to changes in pigmentation, which might cause the skin surrounding the targeted veins to become darker. This can be particularly problematic when treating spider veins on the face – or if large areas on the legs are being treated. It is not possible to know before a procedure which individuals or skin types may be affected by hypopigmentation during a laser treatment session. There is no pigmentation risk with sclerotherapy.
Fewer Treatment Sessions
Because the laser treatment experience can be more painful, overall treatment using that method takes longer. That’s because we treat fewer spider veins in a single laser treatment session so that the procedure is more tolerable for patients. Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, can provide the same results with fewer treatment sessions and in less time overall.
You Have Options When It Comes to Spider Vein Treatment
If you want to remove unsightly spider veins, see board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Mackay at Edward G. Mackay and Associates, LLC to discuss your treatment options.
While both sclerotherapy and laser treatment are safe and effective treatments for spider veins, we prefer sclerotherapy for a number of reasons. We are happy to go over these with you during your visit. We believe it’s important that you understand all the pros and cons of your spider vein treatment options to make a fully informed decision about your care.
Contact Edward G. Mackay and Associates, LLC by calling (727) 781-5652 or request an appointment now. We have three convenient locations in Tampa Bay: in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and Largo, Florida.