Spider Vein Therapy (Sclerotherapy)
Want to say goodbye to spider veins? Spider vein therapy, or sclerotherapy may be the answer you’ve been searching for. This minimally invasive treatment boasts immediate results with no downtime, and doesn’t require anesthesia.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins (sometimes referred to as thread veins) are tiny blood vessels that are located close to the skin, making them visible. They often sprawl out like tiny tree branches. While women are more likely to develop spider veins than men, this is a relatively common condition in both genders.
Spider veins are primarily a cosmetic concern for most patients but can cause discomfort. Symptoms associated with spider veins include:
What Causes Spider Veins and How Do I Prevent Them?
When veins are healthy and functioning correctly, the one-way valves within them close as blood is pumped through them. When veins become weak or damaged, these valves can malfunction, causing blood to flow backwards, pool, burst, and branch out into spider veins.
The causes of spider veins vary from person to person, but factors such as a genetic predisposition (they run in your family), pregnancy, and old age can play a large role in the formation of spider veins. Because of this, strategies for how to prevent spider veins are not effective for everyone.
The good news is, some contributing factors can be avoided. Regular exercise and avoiding sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods of time will improve your circulation. Making it a point to get up and walk around every 30 minutes while you’re at work is a good idea, and compression socks or stockings may also help. Skin damage caused by harmful UV rays from the sun can also cause spider veins, so be sure to wear sunscreen whenever you’re going outside.
One major factor that can contribute to impaired venous function is obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight comes with a broad range of benefits, and reducing your risk of developing spider veins is one of them. Elevating your legs can also assist the veins in your legs in getting blood flow back to your heart, so kick your feet up while you’re watching your favorite TV show at night.
What is Spider Vein Removal?
Spider veins and reticular veins can be effectively removed through sclerotherapy (more commonly known as spider vein treatment). Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure where a nontoxic hypertonic saline solution is injected directly into spider and reticular veins. These injections help reroute blood flow through healthier veins and cause the weaker spider veins to turn into invisible scar tissue, which is eventually reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue.
What Should I Expect During Spider Vein Therapy?
Prior to your first spider vein treatment, your doctor will go over your medical history, perform a physical exam, and may get ultrasound imaging of the area to be treated. It is important that you provide your doctor with a detailed list of any medications you take regularly, especially blood thinners, herbal supplements, ibuprofen, and other medications that could increase your risk of bleeding.
On the day of your sclerotherapy it’s a good idea to wear loose fitting clothing and you’ll want to make sure not to shave or put lotion on the area the night before. When you arrive for treatment, your doctor will first clean the area. Then, using a fine needle, they will inject a nontoxic hypertonic saline solution into the spider veins.
Spider vein treatment takes about an hour but may be completed faster depending on the size of the area being treated. You may experience minimal discomfort such as minor stinging or cramping during the process, but no anesthesia is required for this therapy.
Afterwards, compression will be applied to the area and your doctor will encourage you to walk around. You can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment, but it is a good idea to avoid sun exposure for a few days.
When Will I See Results?
How long it takes to see results depends on the size of the veins being treated. For smaller veins many patients see immediate results, and for larger veins there may be continued improvements for up to 4 months. For some patients multiple sclerotherapy treatments are needed to achieve the desired results, so your clinician will want to schedule a follow-up appointment to track your progress.
Looking for the most personalized care and spider vein treatment San Diego has to offer? Book a consultation at Aspire Regenerative. Our clinicians will make recommendations on the best treatments to suit your specific needs and help you reach your wellness, health, and beauty goals.