Spider veins are primarily treated using sclerotherapy. What is sclerotherapy? It’s an injection therapy and non-surgical procedure where a solution is injected into spider veins or smaller varicose veins.
The solution injected into the veins irritates the lining of the vein, making them sticky and causing the vein walls to compress and stick together. This stops the flow of blood and leads to the vein disappearing after a few weeks. After the vein disappears, the blood will then be re-routed to other veins.
Different foam or liquid solutions are used during sclerotherapy but the specific dosage depends on the size of the vein. Additionally, the number of veins treated in one session depends on their size and where they are located.
Sclerotherapy is typically done in-office using small needles and takes about 30-60 minutes. It does not require anesthesia. If a vein doesn’t disappear after the first session, it can be injected again, but there needs to be a few weeks or months between treatment sessions.
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How do you know if you’re a good candidate for sclerotherapy? Anyone with varicose or spider veins can get the treatment, but it can be especially good for those who are dealing with aching, swelling, burning, or cramping due to spider or varicose veins.
But before the treatment, you will meet with a provider to ensure sclerotherapy is right for you. Anyone with active deep vein thrombosis or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not good candidates for sclerotherapy.
After the sclerotherapy procedure, Dr. Falcon will apply pressure and then massage the treated area. This is to keep the blood out of the injected vein and to move the solution around. A compression pad may be attached onto the injection site and Dr. Falcon may have you lie down for 15 minutes after the procedure to ensure you don’t have any reaction to the solution.
After you leave the office, you’ll want to walk around to prevent a blood clot from forming in your leg. But beyond that, you can return to your normal activities.
For the first few days, you will want to avoid blood thinners as well as hot baths or showers.
You’ll also want to avoid exposing the treated area to the sun for two weeks to avoid dark spots on the skin.
You may also want to wear a compression stocking for two weeks after the procedure to maintain pressure on the area. And avoid shaving or using lotion on the injection site until it completely heals.
The results are likely to show up in 3-6 weeks for smaller veins while larger veins can take up to 3-4 months to fully disappear.
Most insurance companies do not cover injections for spider veins as they are considered cosmetic in nature. It is best to verify your coverage directly with your insurance company.
Are you struggling with spider veins and looking to learn more about sclerotherapy? Scheduling a consultation at Falcon Plastic Surgery is a great next step. Dr. Falcon and our experienced team can walk you through each step of the procedure.
To schedule a consultation today, call our Natrona Heights or Monroeville, PA offices or use our online scheduling form. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.