Living in Tucson, spider veins on the legs and thighs can be a big restriction. With spider veins, you may feel uncomfortable wearing shorts, swimwear, or skirts—all wardrobe essentials in sunny Arizona. However, you don’t have to live with preventing you from showing off your legs. Sclerotherapy is a reliable, quick treatment that can eliminate problem veins, and it’s available from Dr. Peter Kay at Perfection Plastic Surgery and Skin Care.
How does sclerotherapy work?
Sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment. Here at Perfection, we use a sclerosing agent called Asclera®. Once injected, it causes blood platelets to attach to the vein walls, eventually causing the vein to collapse. No longer receiving blood flow, spider veins will gradually disappear as they are reabsorbed into the body and replaced with healthy tissue. Blood flow reroutes to healthier veins.
Who is a candidate for Asclera® sclerotherapy?
Almost anyone who has uncomplicated spider veins or small varicose veins may be treated with sclerotherapy. However, there are some conditions that will disqualify you from treatment. If you are pregnant, you should wait until after your pregnancy to undergo sclerotherapy. Additionally, you will not be eligible for Asclera® if you have a known allergy to polidocanol or if you have been diagnosed with an acute vein or blood clotting disease, such as deep vein thrombosis. You should also notify Dr. Kay of any medications (prescription or over the counter) and supplements you are taking prior to treatment. You may be asked to discontinue use of certain medications before an Asclera® injection.
Will sclerotherapy hurt?
Dr. Kay will apply a topical anesthetic to minimize any pain at the injection site. There may be a mild sensation of burning or discomfort as the sclerosing agent is injected, but most patients report that treatment is very tolerable. On very rare occasions, a perivascular injection may occur. This is an injection outside of the vein, and it can cause severe pain and discomfort. However, a local anesthetic can help to manage the pain.
How long does treatment last?
Sclerotherapy will permanently treat existing spider veins, but you may need to follow some strategies to eliminate the recurrence of problem veins in the future. For example, you may need to take more frequent walks to promote better circulation in the legs. If you spend a lot of time on your feet during the day, then compression stockings may be worn to encourage proper blood flow.
Each sclerotherapy treatment will last just a few minutes, and treatment can take place in the doctor’s office. You may need multiple treatments for some spider veins, but smaller veins can be treated in just one session.
Are there special aftercare instructions with sclerotherapy?
Following sclerotherapy, you should avoid strenuous exercise, hot baths, long plane flights, and prolonged sun exposure. You will also need to wear compression stockings continuously for 2-3 days, and then just during the day for about 2-3 weeks. Walking is also encouraged. Dr. Kay will instruct you to take a short walk 15-20 minutes after the injection and then daily for the next several days.