Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that treats varicose and spider veins, typically found on the legs. Many of us develop unsightly veins on our legs with age. At Skin & Laser Surgery Center of New England, we offer both laser and sclerotherapy for leg vein removal. We have many lasers treatments that improve the appearance of leg veins, however, Dr. Khalil Khatri prefers to use sclerotherapy first, as it is most effective.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are thread-like purple/red broken blood vessels or blue/green larger vessels. They generally develop on the face or legs and may look like thin branches or strands of a spider web. Spider veins are mainly a cosmetic issue but for some people, they can become very uncomfortable and can cause aching, burning, swelling, and leg cramping.
Spider veins develop from a backflow of blood in the veins, a condition that results from damaged valves in the veins. As blood collects in these veins, their walls become enlarged and as a result, the size of the veins increases and therefore makes them visible under the surface of the skin.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins are very common, affecting nearly half of the adult population in the United States. The majority of people with leg veins are female, however, it can be seen in male patients as well. They can become very bothersome especially when located in prominent areas such as the legs or face. Although treatments for spider veins are minimally invasive, they are highly effective. The results are aesthetically pleasing without causing pain or lengthy downtime. Risk factors for developing spider veins include the following:
- Increasing age
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of exercise
- Standing on feet for extending periods
- Sun exposure
- Family history
How do you treat spider veins?
To start, a solution of saline and a sclerosant is injected into the damaged veins. This will irritate the affected veins and they will eventually collapse. Then, the weak veins collapse. Finally, the body will reabsorb the collapsed veins and other healthier veins will take their place in the circulatory system.
Sclerotherapy takes less than an hour, although a varying number of injections may be required, depending on the number of veins involved. Patients do not require an anesthetic and usually, report little or no discomfort during the procedure. A mild burning sensation can occur. In some cases, multiple sclerotherapy treatments may be necessary.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have spider veins or varicose veins and would like to learn more about treatment options, please contact us today at (617) 381-1717 or send us a message below to schedule a consultation.
“Dr. Khatri is amazing. He is very knowledgeable and has many years of experience as a doctor. He has traveled all over the world which has exposed him to a wide variety of clinical studies. He’s an expert in his field and is very professional. The staff is very friendly and attentive. Beautiful office, very clean.” -Karleth
Sclerotherapy (Leg Vein Removal) Before & After
How do you treat spider veins with lasers?
There are several lasers that can be used to treat leg veins; however, Dr. Khatri prefers injection Sclerotherapy. We use Pulsed Dye and Nd: YAG lasers to treat leg veins. Dr. Khatri will discuss the best treatment options after examining the leg veins.
How long is the downtime?
Patients can go back to their normal routine right after the treatment. They are required to wear pressure stockings for one week. They are advised to do lower body exercise, avoid sun exposure for at least one week.
What are possible complications?
Complications from Sclerotherapy are rare. They include, but not limited to light or dark spots, blisters, infection, scars, phlebitis, and blood clots.
How do you prevent spider veins?
There is no certain way to prevent spider veins but making lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of developing them. Some of these changes include losing weight, exercising regularly, wearing support stockings, and comfortable, flat shoes. Moving the legs frequently is also important especially during long periods of sitting or standing in one place.