Sclerotherapy and Laser Vein Treatments
Spider veins — or telangectasia of the legs — is a common problem that particularly affects women. Small purple, blue, or red veins can form anywhere on the leg. From the top of the thigh to the ankle, spider veins can sometimes occur on the face as well. These appear as connected lines resembling a sunburst, in a spider web pattern, or as short unconnected lines. When confined to a small area, they can be relatively inconspicuous. However, it can be distressing when larger areas of skin are affected and the veins become more noticeable.
Varicose veins are larger, sometimes raised veins which are often blue in color. These are not the deep veins connected with the valve system; however, they can become quite painful, producing a burning or throbbing sensation. Although superficial varicose veins and spider veins carry blood, neither is necessary to the circulatory system. Therefore, they can be eliminated without creating problems.
Through modern technology, both telangectasia and superficial varicose veins can be treated using a procedure called sclerotherapy. With sclerotherapy, a very fine needle is used to inject a solution directly into the veins which causes the blood within the vein to disappear or become less obvious.
Prior to treatment, a complete medical history is taken and a thorough examination made. The physician determines if the deep venous system is affected, in which case surgery may be recommended before sclerotherapy is undertaken. However, if the veins are determined to be superficial, treatments can begin. Often a combination of sclerotherapy and laser treatments will be recommended.
Larger veins are usually treated first. The physician injects a small amount of sclerosing (hardening) solution directly into a vein. The solution displaces the blood within the vein, causing it to blanch or turn white. The solution then causes the vessel to become irritated and swell shut, prohibiting blood from reentering the vein. When the needle is withdrawn, pressure is immediately applied to the area. Each vein may require several injections. Most disappear in two weeks to two months. However, even after most troublesome veins have been removed through sclerotherapy, patients should be aware that new spider veins can develop that will require subsequent treatments.
Patients who have had sclerotherapy report very little discomfort. Some experience a slight to moderate burning sensation immediately after the injection, but this disappears within a few seconds. An ointment to soothe the skin and relieve the burning may be used, and a pressure bandage is applied. Patients are encouraged to take a gentle 20 minute walk the day of the treatment to increases the blood flow through other veins.
Patients are required to wear a support hose after treatment. Compression support must stay in place for 24 hrs and then worn during the day for at least a week. The length of time required depends on the size and number of vessels treated. Although vigorous aerobic activity should be avoided for 1-2 weeks, most normal activity can be resumed immediately following treatment.
Legs free of spider veins and superficial varicose can be a dream-come-true at M.D. Laser Studio!