Vascular and Vein Associates

Treatment of Spider Veins – English

Spider vein treatment (sclerotherapy) has been used for more than forty years.  The treatment has become increasingly useful for removing unwanted veins, which are commonly located on the thighs, ankles, and calves.  The goal of the treatment is to remove unwanted spider veins permanently and remove the symptoms associated with spider veins.  Spider veins are not the same as varicose veins.  Varicose veins are larger and darker in color.  Varicose veins are often painful and can be related to a more serious medical condition.  Separate treatment is usually necessary for varicose veins.  Candidates with certain medical conditions such as pregnancy and asthma requiring inhalers may not be able to receive sclerotherapy.  Women who are pregnant are not candidates as the spider veins usually resolve naturally within months after childbirth.

The Procedure

Spider vein treatment does not require anesthesia.  Discomfort is minimal.  The doctor requests the patient wear or brings shorts on the day of treatment and refrain from using moisturizers on the day of treatment.  The doctor will also discuss the type of solution – Sotradecol (a sclerosing agent) that will be injected to collapse the vein.  Sclerotherapy is a simple technique in which the doctor injects a sclerosing agent into the vein with a very thin needle, which collapses the vein.  The needle is very tiny and the injection locations are in close proximity.  By collapsing the vein, it will be no longer visible.  Typically, each inch of vein requires an injection.  A single session lasts about twenty minutes.  During one session, the injection can occur anywhere from five to thirty times.  The treatment may be repeated to achieve optimal results.  Spider veins on the feet can not be treated by Sclerotherapy.

Patients return home immediately after treatment.  After the procedure, the leg compression stocking or pantyhose will be put on.  For at least forty-eight hours, the compression stocking must remain on the leg.  Patients will experience slight leg cramping within the first two days.  But, this discomfort is usually not enough to require medication.  Itching can also result and can be managed with an over the counter Hydrocortisone Cream.  The veins will appear worse before they improve.  There may be bruising that reduces within a month.  Activity level is as tolerated by pain level.

Complications and Risks

Complications are rare, but the risk for short-term and long-term complications does exist.  The most common complication is brownish-red discoloration on the treated area that usually resolves itself within a year, but may remain permanent.  Telangiectatic matting can also occur, which presents as red-colored blood vessels that require additional treatment to resolve.  Other rare complications include deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), skin ulcerations, inflammation, serious allergic reaction to the injected solution, or scarring.  There is a small incidence of recurrence.

Cost of the Procedure

The first appointment provided for this condition is a ten minute consult.  The cost of this consultation is $40.

If it is determined that the patient is a candidate for spider vein treatment, the procedure will be scheduled at a future date convenient for both doctor and patient.  The cost of the first session is $400, and each follow-up session costs $300 additional.  Cash, check, Visa, and MC are accepted.  Payment is due at the time of service.  Health insurance does not cover this procedure.