Leg veins are often very difficult to treat and may eventually come back, even after a successful treatment. Therefore, in the initial consultation doctors must check to find out if the spider veins are superficial, or if they are just the tip of the iceberg. If deep venous reflux is detected, then referral to a vein specialist who can treat the deep veins is in order. If the spider veins turn out to be just superficial veins, then a combination of Vein Gogh treatment and vein injections (sclerotherapy) will help with the problem.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Veins are injected with a sterile chemical sclerant, which irritates the vessel's lining, making it become inflamed, harden and eventually fade away completely. Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are tiny veins that constantly look dilated. Caused by weak vascular walls and inefficient circulation, spider veins cause no health problems but many people feel they look unappealing. Spider veins can sometimes resemble a spider: a large dark spot with thin veins radiating out of it, or they may appear in other patterns and variations in different places in the body. Frequently occurring in the legs, spider veins can be darker or lighter shades of blue, purple or red.
How is the procedure performed?
The treatment area will be sterilized, and then the doctor will begin injecting the sclerosant into first the larger veins, then smaller ones, monitoring the progress of the chemical throughout the process. For every inch of vein treated, one injection will likely be administered. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia. The injection process typically is complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. A minor stinging or burning sensation is common during and right after the injections are made, but is short lived. After the treatment is finished, a bandage will be applied and most physicians recommend the use of compression or support hose for at least a few days.
What happens after sclerotherapy treatment?
Any discomfort can be easily managed with over the counter pain medications, and is alleviated by the use of compression bandages or hose. Some mild bruising, itching and swelling at the injection site is normal, but otherwise side effects are uncommon and short in duration.
What are side effects of sclerotherapy?
Because the procedure is minimally invasive, very few side effects are associated with it. Some minor itching and burning immediately after the treatment is normal and quickly fades. In rare cases, allergic reactions, infection at the injection site or complications associated with poor injection technique are possible. The potential for side effects can be reduced by choosing an experienced, reputable specialist to administer the procedure.
Where is the procedure done?
Since sclerotherapy is minimally-invasive and almost pain-free, it can be performed at a doctor's office or other outpatient clinic. Anesthesia is not needed and complications are infrequent. Although sclerotherapy is very safe, it is considered to be so only when administered by a professional.
Can sclerotherapy be used to treat large varicose veins?
Because they require more sclerant injected than is safe, large varicose veins are not treated with sclerotherapy. Small to medium sized veins respond best to sclerotherapy procedures. There are many other techniques available for the effective treatment of larger vein problems, which you can discuss with your vascular specialist.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. These follow-up treatments should be spaced at least four weeks apart so that the affects of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated before injecting more. Patients can determine the amount of treatments they may need and the cost associated with them by discussing their situation with their specialist.
Do I have to limit any activity after the treatment?
It is important to walk regularly to encourage good circulation after you have had sclerotherapy. You should not participate in any strenuous activity for the initial days after your treatment.
Can sclerotherapy be done on the arms or face?
Yes, it is currently considered safe to perform sclerotherapy on the hands, arms, face and other areas previously avoided in this treatment. Talk with your doctor about the options available for treating blemishes and vein problems in these delicate areas.
How long is each sclerotherapy session?
The injection portion of each session takes, on average, only 15 to 30 minutes to complete, though this can vary depending on the size and extent of the treatment area.
Can anyone undergo sclerotherapy?
Nearly everyone with unsightly spider veins is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, individuals with skin infections, uncontrolled diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis and those who are taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids should not have sclerotherapy. If you are unsure of your candidacy, consult a specialist for a personal evaluation.
Is there any preparation required before sclerotherapy?
There is no formal regimen for the preparation of sclerotherapy, although doctors will recommend that patients stop taking aspirin and smoking during the few days before the treatment.
What chemicals are used for sclerotherapy?
The most widespread substances used as sclering agents in sclerotherapy are polidocanol (aethoxysklerol), sodium tetradecyl sulfate and saline solution at 11.7% concentration. Your doctor may recommend other chemicals based on your individual needs.
Does insurance cover sclerotherapy?
Most insurance providers do not cover cosmetic procedures, including sclerotherapy for the treatment of spider veins, because it is not deemed a medically necessary procedure. If the patient is experiencing negative medical side effects such as pain as a result of the dysfunctional vein, the procedure may be covered to an extent. Talk to your insurance carrier for more information.
Who should treat my veins?
Phlebologists, dermatologists, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists and plastic surgeons are all able to perform sclerotherapy and other vein-related procedures. Selecting a specialist with extensive experience and a satisfied client base is the first step to a positive solution to your vein problems.
The VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System provides a superior solution for the treatment of fine telangiectasia, spider veins and small angiomas, especially recalcitrant vessels that have shown a resistance to sclerotherapy, laser or IPL treatment. VeinGogh is the fast, easy way to reliably treat these and other cosmetically unacceptable conditions, often with less discomfort compared to older therapies.
While lasers and other light-based solutions are expensive, skin-type dependent and have an inherent risk of injury, VeinGogh uses a hair-thin, insulated probe to thermocoagulate and instantly eliminate vessels dependably, repeatedly, on any skin-type and on any part of the body.
Does the treatment hurt?
On a pain scale of 1–10, with some laser treatments being an 8–9, VeinGogh is a 2–3. Since the procedure uses a hair-thin, insulated probe, there can be a slight "pinch." Patients report it feels similar to a hair being removed.
Is there any downtime?
The precise nature of the VeinGogh treatment limits the risk of over-treating, so there is little to no trauma to the skin. Following treatment, there will be some mild redness that usually lasts about 1–2 hours.
How long is a typical treatment?
Depending upon the technician's proficiency and the size of the area, treatments can range from about a minute for minor lesions on the nose, and up to 20–25 minutes for a more extensive condition covering much of the face or legs.
When will I see results?
Immediately. You will see continuous improvement over several weeks as the treated vessels are reabsorbed.
How many treatments are needed?
Generally only one to three treatments are necessary. However, depending on the severity of the condition, additional treatments may be necessary.
Will the veins come back?
Veins will generally not return. However, new veins may develop over time and require retreatment. Follow-up visits are recommended for "touch-ups."
On what size vessels does VeinGogh work best?
VeinGogh works best on spider veins up to 0.3 mm. VeinGogh is not designed to treat feeders or larger vessels deep beneath the surface. Ideally, VeinGogh should be used in conjunction with sclerotherapy to effectively treat leg veins.
Does VeinGogh only work on veins?
No! VeinGogh can also be used to eliminate cherry angiomas, small hemangiomas, skin tags, spider nevi and even the redness of rosacea.
Laser treatments have proven highly effective in reducing the appearance of veins from the leg and face, and with the power of laser technology these treatments are now easier than ever.
During the GentleMax Pro vein removal procedure, the targeted tissue absorbs the laser. As the temperature of the tissue is raised, superficial damaged blood vessels and broken capillaries respond by shrinking. Vascular lesions (spider veins) also coagulate and shrink, many of them disappearing altogether.
In the weeks after treatment, the tissue is eliminated by your body’s own internal processes, and little or no trace of the veins remain.
Our Vbeam® Perfecta pulsed dye laser system uses an intense but gentle burst of light energy to selectively target specific areas within the skin. Blood vessels or melanin pigment in that area absorb the laser energy, which quickly and effectively diminishes their appearance.
The pulsed dye laser treatment of Vbeam is safe, effective and proven to deliver dramatic results for the treatment of rosacea, brown spots, hyperpigmentation, scars, warts, stretch marks and blood vessels.
If you’re living with vascular concerns, let Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology help determine your best solution. Schedule a consultation today to learn more—contact us online or call 615.449.5771 (Lebanon) or 615.964.5941 (Hermitage).