When it comes to eliminating unwanted tiny red and blue blood vessels, sclerotherapy is a very popular spider vein treatment. Physicians and patients both value it as a therapy that is both convenient and effective. Sclerotherapy is also sometimes used in treating small varicose veins.
How Sclerotherapy Works
Fortunately, spider veins seldom result in significant health issues. However, for some patients, they create cosmetic concerns that can erode self-confidence.
Spider veins resemble varicose vessels in many ways. However, they usually develop closer to the surface of the skin and are much smaller.
Sclerotherapy is the option vein clinics first consider once conservative measures such as compression stockings, shedding excess pounds, or avoiding extended time standing or sitting have failed to satisfy a patient’s needs. It then becomes necessary to eliminate these troublesome vessels. Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for this, the Office of Women’s Health reports.
Doctors perform sclerotherapy on an outpatient basis. This procedure has been in use since the 1930s, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Using a very fine needle, a physician injects a special substance called a sclerosant into each vein targeted for elimination. Sometimes a doctor combines the procedure with ultrasound to help guide the needle.
A sclerosant gets rid of spider veins by irritating their walls, which then stick together and close. Eventually, the body absorbs these vessels. Normal veins nearby pick up the circulatory duties of the vessels destroyed.
Benefits from This Spider Vein Treatment
Vein doctors often call sclerotherapy the gold standard of treatment for eliminating spider veins. The Mayo Clinic notes these benefits:
- Sclerotherapy is minimally invasive, requiring no hospitalization or general anesthesia.
- The procedure is safe and has relatively few risks. Side effects, if any, are minor and usually disappear within several days to a few weeks. Examples of complications, which are rare, are air bubbles, blood clots, inflammation, or allergic reactions to sclerosants.
- Patient preparation is simple. Individuals should avoid shaving their legs or applying any lotion to them for at least 24 hours before their procedures. They should also choose loose clothing, such as a pair of shorts.
- A majority of patients note either no pain or minimal pain while receiving injections.
- Doctors usually complete the procedure within an hour. Except for strenuous activities, patients typically go back to their normal daily routine the same day as treatment.
- It is possible to get rid of up to 80 percent of targeted spider veins in a single session.
The number of required treatments varies among patients. Determining factors are the location and the size of targeted veins.
No treatment for spider veins can prevent new vessels from forming. Because of this, some patients who occasionally notice the development of new spider veins might opt to return to the vein clinic for additional treatment sessions to eliminate them.