Sclerotherapy on Legs
Superficial leg veins, also known as spider veins, telangiectasia, or star burst blemishes are small, dilated surface veins that can be pink, red, or purple and appear as lines or clusters on ankles, lower legs, or thighs.
Dysfunction of the valves within veins contributes to spider veins, and several factors may play a prominent role in their development, including heredity, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, obesity, and trauma. Although exercise, weight loss, and support hose may limit the number of new vessels, it will not prevent their development.
Performed on an outpatient basis, sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sclerosing solution, such as glycerin or the FDA approved Asclera by Merz, into the unwanted vessels. This causes vessels to narrow and close down, resulting in both a lighter color and improvement in the appearance of the vessels. In many cases, the veins can be completely eliminated. We typically recommend ultrasound evaluation of the veins prior to treatment to ensure that sclerotherapy is the right treatment for our patients.
The sensation during the injection is similar to mild bee sting or a mosquito bite. Since many vessels are interconnected, one injection may eradicate several vessels at once. Veins will fade over six to eight weeks after treatment. Smaller vessels may disappear completely and large vessels should decrease in size. You may be required to wear compression support hose (available at our office) and avoid exercise or strenuous exertion for five days after treatment. Treatment will depend on number, size and location of the veins. If the veins are too small to be treated by sclerotherapy, or if you are fearful of needles, lasers are highly effective. These options will be discussed during your consultation.