Problem veins are not only unsightly but can cause painful burning. Known as spider veins, these tiny, purple and red blood vessels are commonly found on the face or thighs and lower legs. While they do carry blood, spider veins are not part of the venous valve system and can be eliminated safely and permanently through a simple treatment, known as sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a quick, comfortable, non-surgical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
A laser, either a Pulse-dye or Yag or combination of the two, may be used to treat veins and capillaries too small for sclerotherapy. The laser irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, the blood clots, and turns very dark for a long period of time (up to six months or longer.) Over time the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
If you're considering sclerotherapy or laser therapy, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure, when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon. Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.