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Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

Frequently Asked Questons

sclerotherapy for spider veinsSpider veins, or telangiectasias, are not only an aesthetically undesirable affliction, they can also cause aching pain and chronic swelling.  While they are generally a benign condition that occur in otherwise healthy people, they can also be a sign of a serious illness.  Spider veins can appear anywhere within the body, but are typically found in the leg and thigh areas.  These are most often the areas that bother us the most with their appearance.  The causes are unknown; however, believed to be a result of genetic and environmental causes such as chronic exposure to the sun and extreme heat or cold.

 

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that reduces the appearance of spider veins and improves the overall look of your skin.  Sclerotherapy has been safely used since the 1930’s and remains the primary treatment for small-vessel varicose veins today.

 

All Sclerotherapy injections are performed by trained, registered nurses, under the supervision of Dr. Vartany.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Sclerotherapy right for me?

    If you are bothered by unattractive small-vessel varicose and spider veins, then Sclerotherapy may be right for you.  Prior to scheduling Sclerotherapy, you will need to have an initial consultation with our Registered Nurse to determine your candidacy.  You will not be eligible for treatment if you:

    • Are pregnant
    • Are taking steroids
    • Are an insulin dependent diabetic.  If you are on oral medication, a medical release from your Primary Care Physician will be required
    • Are on anti-coagulant therapy
    • Have crippling Osteoarthritis
    • Have Severe Bronchial Asthma
    • Have Advanced Lupus or Lupus type diseases
    • Have blood clots

     

    If you are taking birth control pills, you will need to inform the nurse prior to treatment.  If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will need to be determined on an individual basis.  Additionally, veins that are potentially viable for future heart bypass surgery are typically not considered for treatment unless already deemed unusable.

  • How does Sclerotherapy work?

    Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution, typically a saline solution or sclerosing agent, directly into the spider vein.  The injected solution irritates the lining of the vessel causing the vein to swell and stick together.  This scarring result forces the blood to reroute through healthier veins.  The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.

  • How many treatments will I need?

    The number of treatments differ from patient to patient, depending on the extent of spider veins present.  One to six or more treatments may be needed; the average is three to four.  Individual veins usually require one to three treatments.  A full assessment will be provided during your initial consultation.

  • Does Sclerotherapy work for everyone?

    Most people treated will have good results; however, there is no guarantee that sclerotherapy will be effective in every case.  Approximately 10% of patients who undergo sclerotherapy have poor to fair results.  (“Poor results” means that the veins have not totally disappeared after six treatments.)  In very rare instances, the patient’s condition may become worse after sclerotherapy treatment.

  • Should I avoid anything before or after Sclerotherapy treatment?

    Two days before treatment, avoid any blood thinners, including but not limited to: aspirin, Motrin®, Advil®, Excedrin®, Aleve®, or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.  The intake of certain vitamins such as: Vitamin D, E, C and Omega-3 and Gingko Biloba may make you more susceptible to and increase bruising.

     

    Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 2 days prior to and 2 days after treatment.

     

    Avoid smoking for 2 days prior to and 2 days after treatment.

     

    Avoid the use of any creams, lotions, oils or self-tanners on your legs the night before and the day of treatment.

     

    Avoid standing in a single position for prolonged periods of time.

     

    Avoid strenuous physical activities such as high-impact aerobics, running, weight lifting, etc. for the first 48-72 hours following your treatment.

     

    Avoid hot baths for 2 weeks.  Cool your legs with cold water after each shower.

     

    Avoid Sunbathing and Ultraviolet Exposure for at least 1 week.

     

    Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools for 48 hours following your treatment.

     

    Avoid flying for 48 hours if treatment involves Reticular Veins.

     

    If you develop a fever or other illness prior to your treatment, you must reschedule your appointment.

  • What should I expect after treatment?

    Taped compression pads/cotton balls are applied and may be removed after 24 hours.

     

    You will be required to wear support hose or a compression garment immediately following treatment.  You may bring your own garment or purchase one in our office.  Your compression garment must be worn for one week following treatment unless otherwise instructed.

     

    After your treatment, you can resume your day with minimal downtime.  You are encouraged to maintain normal activities and to walk as much as possible.

     

    Important note:  Failure to wear your compression garment or support hose will cause the treated vein(s) to fill back up with blood making the treatment ineffective.

  • Important Facts about the Safety and Risks of Sclerotherapy

    The decision to undergo Sclerotherapy is extremely personal.  You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of Sclerotherapy are acceptable.

     

    Potential risks include:

    • Bruising
    • Transient hyperpigmentation
    • Pain and swelling
    • Blood accumulation in the treated vessel
    • Burning sensation during injection
    • Swelling of the ankles
    • Hives
    • Skin redness
    • Infection
    • Poor healing or scarring
American Society of Plastic Surgery American Board of Plastic Surgery

*Individual results may vary.