Sclerotherapy

Visible, spiky spider veins are usually treated with sclerotherapy. Using a special fluid called a sclerosant, sclerotherapy can disable these unsightly malfunctioning veins, improve blood flow, and restore a more even skin tone.

About Spider Veins

While healthy veins carry blood toward the heart, spider veins have broken vein valves that allow the blood to flow backward. This causes the veins to take on a recognizable spiky appearance like that of a spider’s legs or web. Spider veins may be blue, red, or purple in color and most often appear on the legs. While spider veins do not always cause symptoms, some people experience discomfort, pain, itching, burning, or a feeling of heaviness in the affected area. Spider veins cannot repair themselves and require treatment to improve circulation and appearance.

How Sclerotherapy Works

Sclerotherapy is a quick, in-office treatment and does not require general anesthesia. For the procedure, a microneedle is inserted into the vein. Through this needle a sclerosant (a special chemical irritant) is injected into the vein. The sclerosant disables the vein walls, causing them to become non-functional. The body reroutes the blood through nearby healthy functioning veins, and the useless spider vein gradually fades away. Patients may need up to 4 sclerotherapy treatments to fully treat spider veins.

Our vein specialists employ the following techniques and technologies to assist the process:

  • Foam Sclerotherapy: The sclerosant is mixed into a foam beforehand so that when injected, more sclerosant comes into contact with the vein wall. This makes it possible to achieve successful results with lower concentrations of sclerosant.
  • Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy: With ultrasound technology, we can locate and treat unseen spider veins that are hidden underneath the surface skin. This ensures that even non-visible spider veins are eliminated so that symptoms are fully eradicated and better circulation is restored.
  • Vein Light: Using a special vein light, our specialists can identify and treat a larger area of spider veins. This minimizes the number of injections needed and makes it possible to treat multiple spider veins with only one or two injections.

Types of Sclerosants

At Vein Specialists of Augusta, we offer different types of sclerosants to meet our patient’s individual needs:

  • Polidocanol (aethoxysclerol) – a painless detergent sclerosant with minimal to no risk of reactions or side effects
  • STS (sodium tetradecyl sulfate)
  • Glycerin

Recovery and Results

After sclerotherapy, the treated area is covered with cotton balls held in place by medical tape. This bandage will be removed the day after the procedure. Patients can return to normal activities immediately after treatment but should avoid vigorous exercise and soaking in hot tubs for a few days. Compression stockings should be worn for at least 3 days to help the body heal and adapt. With all types of sclerosants, sclerotherapy complications are infrequent and minor.

As the sclerosant affects the vein, the spider vein will gradually disappear, and the skin of the treated area will take on a more even tone. Symptoms will also go away as healthy circulation is restored. With sclerotherapy, the treated spider is permanently destroyed; however, additional sclerotherapy treatments may become necessary if more spider veins develop.

Our highly experienced staff can help you determine if treatment can help your specific situation.

Our highly experienced staff can help you determine if treatment can help your specific situation.