What are spider veins and varicose veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins are damaged veins that occur when normal circulation within the veins is interrupted, resulting in a backward flow of blood accompanied by blood vessel weakness, bulging and discoloration. Varicose veins develop when tiny valves inside your veins stop working properly, allowing blood to back up and create “pools” that press against veins and cause them to bulge and become weak. In addition to their unsightly appearance, spider veins and varicose veins can cause itching, cramping and burning sensations, and when several occur, they can result in feelings of fatigue and heaviness in the area that's affected.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment technique that's used for spider veins and smaller varicose veins. The technique uses very carefully placed injections of special solutions that cause irritation and scarring inside the lining of the affected veins. In response, these damaged veins close up, preventing the flow of blood and eliminating the appearance of veins as well as other symptoms. Eventually, these closed-off veins are absorbed by the body's waste system and blood flow is diverted to nearby healthy veins for better circulation.
How is cosmetic sclerotherapy performed?
After a comprehensive evaluation of your veins, treatment is carefully mapped out to ensure the injections of the special sclerosing solution are optimally placed for the best results. During treatment, a very fine needle is used to inject the solution directly into the affected veins. As the solution is administered, you may feel some slight burning sensations near the injection site. Sclerotherapy is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home immediately afterward, and most procedures take from 30 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on the number of veins you're having treated. Once the procedure is complete, you may need to wear compression hose or socks for several days to promote healing and circulation in the treatment area, and you may also experience some mild bruising or swelling at the injection sites. In most cases, it takes a few weeks for the treated veins to completely resolve, and in larger veins, additional injections may be needed.