Spider Vein Removal Overview
Spider vein removal is an outpatient procedure to reduce the appearance of visible collections of veins on the body, most commonly on the nose and cheek areas of the face as well as the legs. Two treatment methods exist. In one, known as sclerotherapy, a sclerosing agent is injected into each vein, causing it to inflame and then close. Alternately, a laser can be used, concentrating beams of light on the vein and slowly fading it from the area. Depending on the individual patient’s needs, a combination of the two methods may be used.
There is no specific preparation required for either procedure, though you should let Dr. Vallecillos know about any medications you may be taking. On the day of the procedure, you should wear loose fitting clothing and avoid putting lotion or any other substance on the areas to be treated.
Anesthesia is generally not required for either sclerotherapy or laser treatment of spider veins. These are generally short, outpatient procedures.
- Several options for spider vein removal exist: sclerotherapy, laser therapy, or a combination of the two. Dr. Vallecillos will discuss beforehand which option is best for you, given your specific circumstances.
In this method, a sclerosing (or inflammation-inducing) solution is injected into the veins to be treated, usually with one injection per inch of vein. The solution causes an inflammatory response in the vein, followed by its collapse, thus removing the vein from view.
In this method, an intense beam of light is directed at the veins to be treated, destroying them through the skin.
Spider Vein Removal FAQ
Who is a candidate for spider vein removal?
You should consider spider vein removal if you are an adult who suffers from visible collections of veins on the face, legs, or elsewhere on the body.
What is the recovery time for spider vein removal?
The recovery time for spider vein removal varies from patient to patient, and differs based on the treatment. Sclerotherapy has no recovery time, although patients who have received the treatment on the legs will be advised to wear compression stockings for some time following the procedure. Side effects of laser therapy may include redness and slight bruising, though these are temporary and tend to disappear within a month. Patients should avoid prolonged standing or sitting during this period.
Are there risks or side effects with spider vein removal?
Side effects are rare but do exist for both treatment methods. With laser therapy, patients may experience bruising and redness near the treated areas. With sclerotherapy, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction to the injected agent, as well as a risk of edema, blood clots, inflammation, and scarring. Patients should discuss all possible risks and side effects with Dr. Vallecillos prior to the procedure.
How long do the results last?
To achieve ultimate results, several treatment sessions may be required. You should allow for at least one month between procedures. The final effects of spider vein removal can last for years, and are sometimes permanent, although additional procedures would be necessary if new spider veins appear.