//How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

Spider veins, little dilated superficial blood vessels that are caused by increased pressure in the veins, are both annoying and unsightly. Often located on both the thighs and calves, they are extremely visible, and we’ve had many patients tell us that they’ve avoided wearing shorts or skirts for years because they hate how they look.  Fortunately, spider veins are treatable, and although not covered by insurance, treatment is performed right in our office using sclerotherapy injections – the gold standard in spider vein treatment.  Even better, Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute is fortunate to have one of the very best sclerotherapy nurses in the region treating our spider vein patients!

During this procedure, a very fine needle is used to slowly inject the sclerosant solution into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse. Compression stockings are applied after the treatment.

Over the course of the next few months, the veins will fade. Most patients require a series of 3-5 treatments over the course of several months. The number of treatments will vary with each patient. A personal treatment plan will be discussed at the time of your vein consultation.

What Causes Spider Veins?

A number of factors determine whether or not a person may develop spider veins, including:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Hormones (pregnancy, menopause)
  • Obesity
  • Long Periods of Daily Standing

If you think you may have spider veins, you can read more about symptoms here.

spiderveins-treatment-results_albuquerque
View Our Spider Vein Gallery

Why is Sclerotherapy the Best Spider Vein Treatment?

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical spider vein treatment that involves the injection of an FDA-approved solution directly into the spider vein via a tiny needle.  The injected solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse. This procedure is simple, safe and fast.  In fact, it’s one of the lowest-risk cosmetic procedures available, and anesthesia is not required. The vein is reabsorbed and fades over the course of months.  Most spider vein patients will require a series of 3-5 treatments over the course of several months for full clearance, although the exact protocol will vary with each patient.

Some dermatologists and laser clinics choose to treat spider veins with laser or IPL treatments.  However, sclerotherapy is our preferred choice over surface laser treatment to clear spider veins on the legs for several reasons:

Less Expensive  

Because lasers cost thousands, and thousands of dollars, the price for laser spider vein treatment will be higher than sclerotherapy injections.

Less painful 

Although modern lases have a cooling system that prevents the tip of the laser from getting too hot and resulting in burns or skin damage, most patients find the repetitive “zapping” of the laser on their skin to be quite uncomfortable and find that the tiny needle injections with sclerotherapy are less painful.

All skin colors

The heat produced by laser energy can cause discoloration on people with darker skin pigmentation.

More effective

Because sclerotherapy can also treat the reticular – or “feeder” – veins that cause spider veins, the patient’s long-term results will be more complete and longer lasting.   Reticular veins are the underlying, hard-to-see faint blue veins that are the source of the blood that feeds the spider veins.  Laser treatment cannot target the feeder veins as effectively.

Read about what to expect after spider vein treatment here.

Take the Next Step

To schedule a spider vein consultation, please call our office at 505-848-VEIN or fill out the form on this page, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you promptly.  Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute is located in the Journal Center area of Albuquerque and proudly serves vein patients throughout the entire Albuquerque area, as well as Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Santa Rosa, Los Lunas and other areas throughout New Mexico.

** This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects.  The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician.

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