Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins in Olympia
Spider Vein Treatment in Olympia
Spider veins (telangiectasis) are small dilated blood vessels. They are visible as blue or red streaks, webs, or clumps on the surface of the skin. They are sometimes called thread veins. They are different than Varicose Veins which are bulging lumps underneath the skin. Spider veins are most frequently found on the face and the legs.
They are permanent once they appear and tend to increase in number over time. Spider veins drain into collecting veins at the base of the skin called reticular veins which are larger. Sometimes they are visible underneath the skin. We use a Veinlight which allows us to visualize beneath the surface of the skin. Identifying and treating reticular veins is an important part of the success in controlling spider veins
Symptoms and causes of Spider Veins
These veins are a frequent cause of cosmetic discomfort. Often they do not cause any symptoms, but in some instances can cause itching, burning, heaviness or fatigue in the legs.
The exact cause of spider veins is unknown. They are more prevalent in women than men. They can appear after local trauma or after superficial surgery or even after vein surgery. We don’t know how to prevent them from forming. The advice to avoid crossing the legs or wearing constricting clothing to prevent them has no established basis.
The hope that support stockings and dietary supplements are of help is unsubstantiated. Spider veins may be associated with larger diseased veins underneath. This possibility sometimes warrants the use of Ultrasound to check for underlying venous disease as treatment should be directed 1st at the deeper veins.
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Sclerotherapy for Spider Vein treatment
Treatment options for spider veins in the legs are by injection treatments called sclerotherapy or by superficial thermal obliteration. Of the two, the injection method is preferred in the lower extremities where the veins tend to be larger and the pressure is higher than it is on the face or trunk. Thermal methods are preferable for the face and trunk.
Our approach is usually directed at the whole extremity as spider veins occur in multiple sites. We found our best results come from a multi stage treatment plan in which the first stage is directed at both the spider and reticular veins. We use a special instrument call the Veinlight which allows us to see reticular veins under the skin that are not visible to the naked eye. This allows simultaneous treatment of spider and reticular veins. This provides a more thorough treatment with better cosmetic results than just injecting the spider veins.
Photos of Treatment Results (Click Here)
It is very important that the person who decides to have spider vein treatment understands the benefits and limitations of the treatment .This is to prevent disappointment when the healing process seems prolonged or the results are less than ideal. Each treatment usually clears about 1/3 of the visible veins. Subsequent treatments are almost always necessary. There are some individuals that continue to form veins and need to have interval treatments to maintain a satisfactory appearance.
The injections should not be expected to achieve immediate disappearance of the spiders on the day of treatment. This is because the method is based on a controlled injury to the vein wall that over time causes the vein wall to adhere together. Eventually the vein becomes reabsorbed. This typically happens over the course of a few weeks, but may take several months before the final result is achieved. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict if a person will get an immediate or a delayed response.
After treatment, bluish bruising of the tissue occurs and requires 2-3 weeks to clear up. In the process of healing, the blood cells in the tissue can leave traces of a brownish iron pigment called hemosiderin. This will clear over a variable amount of time. It is very unusual for these spots to be permanent.
Treated spider veins typically do not recur, however, new ones may develop over time. It is important to realize the chronic nature of this problem. Recurrent treatments have been found to give good long term control of this cosmetic problem. Schedule an appointment to figure out which treatment works best for you. Spider veins are considered a cosmetic procedure and treatment is not covered by insurance.