Spider veins are an annoyance to many people, particularly those whose relatives have suffered from the same condition.  Fortunately, a vein surgeon can easily treat these vessels with injections that cause them to disappear.

What Exactly Are Spider Veins?

Most people notice these unsightly veins on their legs or face.  They are usually no larger than 1 mm and might appear red, blue, or purple.  In most cases, the patient has no serious underlying disorder.

Spider veins and varicose veins are not the same condition.  Spider veins are smaller and are located closer to the skin’s surface than varicose veins, according to the UCLA School of Medicine.  Their most common causes include:

  • Family history
  • Gaining weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Other hormonal shifts
  • Extended standing or sitting

Sclerotherapy is the Preferred Vein Treatment

Vein doctors consider sclerotherapy the preferred treatment for getting rid of spider veins.  It is also used for smaller varicose veins.

This procedure involves injecting a vein with a fine needle bearing a special substance known as a sclerosing agent.  Doctors at the University of Michigan Vein Centers report once a vascular surgeon injects this agent, the chemical causes the wall of the targeted vein to become inflamed.  This results in scarring and sealing off the vein so that it can no longer transport blood.

Physicians consider sclerotherapy a non-invasive, outpatient procedure that is safe and has few complications.  Once an injection has sealed a vein, it eventually fades from view.

What to Expect

Patients who are good candidates for sclerotherapy will receive detailed pre- and post-operative instructions from their vein surgeons.  Most experience little discomfort during the procedure beyond minor cramping or stinging when the doctor inserts the needle, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Wearing compression stockings for a period determined by the vein surgeon is essential.  Patients can usually resume normal activity not considered strenuous.

The most common temporary side effects at the injection site are bruising, small skin sores, darkened skin, tiny red spots that are actually blood vessels, and raised red areas.

Spider vein treatment typically produces visible results between three and six weeks after sclerotherapy.  The procedure has a success rate for getting rid of targeted veins.

It is important for patients to realize that this treatment will not prevent new spider veins from forming.  Many opt for periodic treatment.

A consultation at a vein clinic can also prove helpful for patients suffering from varicose veins.  Vascular surgeons are able to bring relief from both cosmetic issues and discomfort linked to these veins thanks to state-of-the-art treatments such as the Venefit procedure and the VNUS Closure.