What are spider and varicose veins?
Spider veins or telangiectasias are those tiny purple and red blood vessels found most commonly on the thighs or lower legs of women. They are hereditary and can form anywhere on the leg and occasionally spider veins appear on the face. Varicose veins are larger. They can appear raised above the skin level with a bluish color and can become quite painful. Even though spider veins and varicose veins carry blood, they are not part of your deep venous valve system. Spider veins can be eliminated or improved through a simple office procedure called Sclerotherapy.
What is Sclerotherapy?
During the procedure a sclerosing solution is injected into the vein through a micro-needle. The tiny needles generally cause very little discomfort. The sclerosing solution causes the vein to blanch (turn white), then gradually disappear. A typical treatment may last for 15 to 20 minutes. Injection Sclerotherapy may eliminate the need for a more invasive surgical procedure.
Will Sclerotherapy work on my veins?
Prior to your treatment, Dr. Moreano will review your medical history and do an exam to determine how long you have had a problem with your veins and the severity of your specific problem. We need to know if you have had previous vein treatment or previous surgery in the area of concern. Dr. Moreano will test your leg to determine if the deep venous system is affected. If it is, surgery may be advised before Sclerotherapy is attempted. If the area to be treated can be improved, Sclerotherapy will be recommended.
What are the treatments like?
First, we thoroughly clean the area to be treated with alcohol. Then we mark the veins to be treated. Most Sclerotherapy patients report little if any discomfort. A few may experience a mild burning sensation when we inject the solution, but it stops in a few seconds. The larger veins are usually treated first.
Using a small syringe, fitted with a tiny micro-needle, Dr. Moreano will inject a small amount of sclerosing medication into the vein. Sclerosing solution displaces the blood within the vein. It then causes irritation to the lining of the vein, causing ii to close. The needle is withdrawn and pressure to the area is applied immediately. While each vein may require several injections, most disappear in two weeks to two months.
How many treatments will I need?
Different patients respond to the same treatment differently. Complete correction of the treated area is not expected on the first treatment. In most cases, about 50-70% of the treated vessels will be gone for good. However, new veins may occur and additional treatments are generally required for optimum results. These treatments may be in three weeks intervals.
What is recovery like?
You will need to wear special heavy-duty stockings to help keep pressure on the veins. This will reduce bruising and help keep the treated veins closed. Bruises around the treated areas usually disappear after the first week. A tan or brownish pigment may persist for six to eight weeks when larger veins were treated.
Patients are generally encouraged to resume normal activities immediately. We do ask that you refrain from vigorous activities for the first 24 hours. Walking is encouraged because it increases blood flow through the other veins.