Spider veins or telangiectasis are small superficial veins that are formed because vessels dilate. This happens as valves in the vessels become incompetent and are unable to maintain blood flow back to the heart. Most occur on the legs and face.
They can be caused by injury, pregnancy, family history, obesity, being female and a standing occupation. Prevention is difficult in most people, and compression hose or support stockings may be the best option.
Procedures for treatment of spider veins include: sclerotherapy, compression, laser and intense pulsed light. This article is all about sclerotherapy. In this procedure a chemical solution is injected into the vein which causes irreversible damage and vein closure. It may take several sessions to alleviate the veins, depending on the number to be treated. Time between treatments is 1-3 months and each session usually lasts 30-45 minutes.
Unfortunately sclerotherapy is not covered by insurance as it is considered an elective treatment. Each provider has different charges but a patient should be able to have their veins treated for under $1,000. It is important to remember that this treatment is not effective for everyone, there are no guarantees.
As with any medical procedure there are potential risks and side effects. The veins may be tender to the touch after treatment and an uncomfortable sensation may run along the vein route. This discomfort is usually temporary. Bruising is very common and to be expected. Some patients complain of an itchy sensation after treatment, which is also very normal.
Patients may experience slight discomfort such as aching or throbbing for the first day or two after initial treatment. Walking will help to relieve this sensation. If discomfort continues, ibuprofen or tylenol may be taken. The vessels may also appear to turn dark in color and/or be slightly tender. This could be entrapment of blood in the closed vessels, a normal response to the procedure. This blood may be flushed at the next treatment session, although this may leave hyperpigmentation for up to one year.
After treatments, it is recommended that a person wear compression stockings for 48 hours to prevent the veins from refilling with blood. Hot tubs, saunas or long hot baths are not recommended for one week. Shaving should be postponed for two days. Sun exposure and tanning are not recommended for ten days after treatment. Areas that have been treated will be more likely to burn.
Bruising should start resolving in approximately 2 weeks. The spider veins should also begin fading and lightening. Patience is important! It has taken years for these veins to develop and they will not disappear overnight.
The majority of persons who have sclerotherapy performed have satisfying results.
Call Kris Todd Reisnour for a consult at 751.4340.