Laser Vein Treatments and Sclerotherapy
Laser Vein Treatments and sclerotherapy are minimally invasive medical procedures for the treatments of spider veins and telangiectasia, most commonly found on the legs as well as those who seek treatment for veins up to 3mm in size. All patients with skin type 1-4 can be treated with lasers. Patients should not have had unprotected sun exposure or tanning for 3-7 days prior to the treatment. Precise custom treatment can be achieved while the surrounding structures, such as epidermis, remain largely unharmed. Treatment can fade, reduce or eliminate the veins. Sclerotherapy has been used on patients since the 1930s with great success, producing increasingly effective medical, as well as cosmetic, results. It is not a cure for the veins.
Reasons For Sclerotherapy
Some of the reasons a patient may desire, or a physician may recommend, sclerotherapy may include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain, aching or burning sensations in the legs or feet
- Swelling or redness at the site
- Cramping of the legs, especially at night
- Scaly, dry or discolored skin at the site
- Discomfort after sitting or standing for long periods
Individuals troubled by varicose veins may choose, in consultation with their physician, to undergo sclerotherapy either because they find them unattractive or because the diseased veins are causing unpleasant and/or dangerous symptoms.
The Sclerotherapy Procedure
During this procedure, a solution of saline and a sclerosant is injected into the damaged veins. This will cause irritation in the affected veins and produce their eventual collapse. During this procedure, the surgeon is guided through the use of ultrasound to ensure precision. When the weakened veins collapse, they will be reabsorbed into the body and other healthier veins will take their place in the circulatory system.
Sclerotherapy has proven to be a safe procedure and is performed outpatient in the doctor’s office. Typically, sclerotherapy is performed in 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, only a mild burning sensation. Multiple treatments at 6-8 week intervals are necessary.
Injection into spider veins in the legs with chemical agents can treat unsightly spider veins especially those which are bigger than 3 mm in size. It is the gold standard for spider vein treatment of the lower extremity.
Larger veins in the legs are usually treated by injecting a chemical in the veins. Very small veins are treated by lasers even in the legs.
Recovery From Sclerotherapy
Patients are able to return home shortly after this spider vein treatment. Most can return to work and resume normal activities the next day, although exercise and strenuous activities are to be avoided a week or two. It is recommended that a person wears medium compression stocking for three weeks following sclerotherapy. While it may take up to a month for the patient to see full results, some improvement is usually visible immediately.
In order to promote vascular health and to preserve the positive effects of the sclerotherapy, it is recommended that patients maintain a healthy weight and make exercise part of their daily routine.