Sclerotherapy (Leg Vein Removal)
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that treats varicose and spider veins, typically found on the legs. Many of us develop unsightly veins on our legs. Skin & Laser Surgery Center of New England offer both laser and sclerotherapy for leg vein removal. We carry many lasers that can treat leg veins, but Dr. Khatri prefers to use sclerotherapy first, as it is most effective.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are thread-like purple/red broken blood vessels or blue/green larger vessels. They generally develop on the face or legs and may look like thin branches or stands of a spider web. Spider veins are mainly a cosmetic issue but for some people, they can become very uncomfortable and can cause aching, burning, swelling and leg-cramping.
Spider veins develop from a backflow of blood in the veins, a condition which results from damaged valves in the veins. As blood collects in these veins, their walls become enlarged. As a result, the size of the veins increase and therefore makes them visible under the surface of the skin.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are extremely common, affecting nearly half of the adult population in the United States. They can become very bothersome especially when located in prominent areas such as the legs or face. Although treatments for spider veins are minimally invasive they are highly effective. The results are aesthetically pleasing without causing pain or lengthy downtime. Risk factors for developing spider veins include the following:
- Increasing age
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of exercise
- Sun exposure
- Family history
Before and After sclerotherapy treatment
To start, a solution of saline and a sclerosant is injected into the damaged veins. This will irritate the affected veins and they will eventually collapse. Dr. Khatri uses an ultrasound to guide him through the procedure and ensure precision throughout the procedure. Then, the weak veins collapse. Finally, the body will reabsorb the collapsed veins and other healthier veins will take their place in the circulatory system.
Sclerotherapy typically takes less than an hour, although a varying number of injections may be required depending on the number of veins involved. Patients do not require an anesthetic and usually, report little or no discomfort during the procedure. Occasionally a mild burning sensation can occur. In some cases, multiple sclerotherapy treatments may be necessary.
Laser Treatment for Spider Veins
Spider veins are small, thin blood vessels visible beneath the skin. Treatment for spider veins can be done through sclerotherapy or minimally invasive laser procedures. Laser treatment for spider veins offers patients:
- Fewer side effects
- Less trauma
- Shorter treatment time
- Shorter recovery time
- Minimal downtime
One type of laser treatments available is endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), which treats large veins by passing a laser fiber through a catheter directly into the vein. Veins just under the surface of the skin can be treated with a simpler laser procedure. Although that most likely requires several treatment sessions. The doctor will decide which procedure is best for each individual patient after performing a physical examination as well as reviewing their medical history.
Leg Vein Treatment Video Testimonial
Dr. Khatri explains treatment options for painful & unsightly leg veins, including sclerotherapy. Additionally, patient Neide Santos discusses her experience at Skin & Laser Center of New England.
How To Prevent Spider Veins
There is no certain way to prevent spider veins, but making certain lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of developing them. Some of these changes include losing weight, exercising regularly, wearing support stockings and comfortable, flat shoes. Moving the legs frequently is also important especially during long periods of sitting or standing in one place.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have spider veins or varicose veins, and would like to learn more about treatment options, contact our office at (617) 381-1717 to schedule a consultation. We have an office in Nashua, NH and two offices serving the Boston area in Revere, MA and Chelmsford, MA