How a Vein Doctor Treats Spider Veins

Most of the concerns people have about spider veins center on the fact that they can be a cosmetic nuisance.  Quite often, they run in families.  A vein doctor usually treats spider veins with a procedure known as sclerotherapy.

Overview of Spider Veins

Spider veins are small blood vessels that are blue, red or purple.  They are usually 1 mm or less in size and most often form on a leg or on the face.  Most of the time, they have no link to any type of serious health disorder.

Many people are under the impression that spider veins are a type of varicose veins.  While there are some similarities, the two types of vessels represent distinct conditions.  UCLA Health indicates that spider veins, the smaller of the two vessels, appear closer to the surface of the skin.  The most common reasons they develop include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight
  • Heredity
  • Other shifts in hormones
  • Sitting or standing for extended periods


Sclerotherapy at a Vein Clinic

Portland vein doctors, also known as vascular surgeons,perform sclerotherapy as an outpatient procedure. They use this non-invasive technique as the “gold standard” for treating spider veins. They also utilize it to destroy small varicose veins.

This Portland  vein treatment destroys spider veins by injection.  The vascular surgeon injects a targeted vessel with a specially developed substance known as a sclerosing agent.  According to the University of Michigan Vein Centers, some veins might require more than one treatment before they disappear.

After the physician administers the injection, the sclerosing agent causes the vein’s walls be become inflamed.  They eventually scar, sealing the vein off from carrying blood toward the heart.  A treated vessel is ultimately resorbed into the body and gradually fades from sight.

Patient Expectations

At an initial consultation, the surgeon determines whether a patient is a good candidate for sclerotherapy.  Those who are will receive instructions for care both before and after the procedure.  Most report only minor stinging or cramping when the needle is inserted. The Mayo Clinic says that the most frequent temporary issues are bruising, darkened skin, small red spots, raised red areas, and small sores on the skin.

Patients remain on their backs for up to 20 minutes after sclerotherapy.  The surgeon determines the length of time it is necessary to wear compression stockings.  Patients need another adult to drive them to their homes afterward and are typically able to resume non-strenuous activities right away.

An individual can expect to see the results of sclerotherapy within six weeks after the procedure.  This most-used treatment for spider veins has a success rate of 50 to 80 percent.  However, patients should realize that the procedure will not prevent new veins from developing or the need for periodic injections.

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