Millions of women and even many men are bothered by spider veins, those unsightly blue, red, and purple vein clusters that usually appear on thighs, calves and ankles. It is estimated that approximately half of the adult female population suffers with this common cosmetic problem. But now theres a solution.
Thanks to the skill and artistry of highly trained cosmetic surgeons, you no longer have to be plagued with the unattractive markings of spider and varicose veins. Dr. Broadway can treat vein problems with what is called sclerotherapy, a fairly simple procedure in which veins are injected with a solution called sclerosing solution, which causes the unsightly veins to collapse and fade from view. Sclerotherapy has also been known to remedy the problems associated with spider veins such as burning, aching, swelling and nighttime cramps. Although sclerotherapy has been popular in Europe for many decades, it has just recently become popular in the United States in the last ten years.
Spider and Varicose Veins
Spider veins are called telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities in the medical world and are small, thin veins that lie very close to the skins surface. These tiny veins are connected to our larger venous system, but they are not a necessary part of it. Several factors contribute to the development of these veins including: heredity, pregnancy, weight gain and occupations/activities that required prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Certain medications may also cause spider veins.
Spider veins are usually found in one of three basic patterns:
· Spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a dark central point
· Branch-like shapes
· Linear appearing as separate lines
Varicose veins differ from spider veins in that they are larger than spider veins, are darker in color and tend to bulge. Varicose veins are much more likely to cause pain than spider veins, and varicose veins are usually related to more serious venous disorders. Sclerotherapy can certainly treat varicose veins, but sometimes surgery is necessary in the more severe cases.
How Its Done
A typical sclerotherapy treatment only lasts between 15-45 minutes. After your bare legs are cleaned with an antiseptic solution, we will inject the sclerosing agent into the affected areas. Approximately one injection is administered to you for every inch of spider vein. A cotton ball and compression tape will be applied to each area of the leg as it is finished. As the procedure continues, you will feel small needle sticks and a slight burning sensation; however, the pain is minimal during sclerotherapy.
The treated areas will most likely look worse before they begin to look better, so you may not want to wear shorts until the healing process is complete. When the compression dressings are removed, you will notice bruising and reddish areas at the injection sites. In about a month, the bruises will diminish.
Dr. Broadway will explain all post-sclerotherapy care with you and will tell you when its ok to resume normal physical activities.