Spider veins might be small, but for someone bothered by their appearance, the impact on self-confidence is often significant. Vascular surgeons have used various therapies involving injections, lasers, and heat to get rid of these unwanted blood vessels. Fortunately, spider vein treatment options today are more convenient than ever.
What Exactly Are Spider Veins?
They are are small red or blue blood vessels that most often form on the legs or face. While some consider them a kind of varicose veins, others say they are similar but distinctive.
These abnormal vessels form when pressure in a vein enlarges it. Typically smaller than varicose veins, they are usually closer to the surface of the skin. Their name comes from their weblike appearance.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that between 30 to 50 percent of American adults develop spider or varicose veins.
How Do Vein Doctors Currently Treat Them?
Today vascular surgeons perform outpatient treatments for spider veins in a vein clinic. The two most common options used are sclerotherapy and VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis.
Sclerotherapy for spider veins
Overall, healthcare providers still consider sclerotherapy the gold standard for getting rid of spider veins. According to Stony Brook Medicine, surgeons also use this minimally invasive procedure as a varicose vein treatment. Although it usually does not eliminate all a patient’s spider veins in one session, most individuals see an improvement of 50 to 90 percent after a treatment. Many require four to six treatments for optimal results.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a specially manufactured substance directly into each targeted spider vein. The injected solution or foam sclerosant irritates a vein’s walls, causing them to become sticky and eventually close. After destruction of the vein, the vessel disappears, and neighboring veins take over its workload.
Many physicians today prefer using ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. The Cleveland Clinic reports that this involves injecting a foaming agent that has been mixed with a sclerosant. Ultrasound technology allows the surgeon to guide the injection into veins that are not easy to see on the skin’s surface. Doctors sometimes combine ultrasound technology with other procedures to remove spider veins such as radiofrequency ablation.
VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis
Physicians also use this procedure to treat vascular problems such as cherry hemangiomas, rosacea, and skin tags. Considered an alternative to light-based treatments, it utilizes a thin, insulated probe. Heat transferred through the probe coagulates spider veins.
VeinGogh is appropriate for veins up to 0.3 mm, such as those found on the face. For larger vessels, vein doctors often use the procedure with sclerotherapy.
Results from this treatment are immediate. Most patients require up to three procedures for the best possible outcome.
When considering treatment options, it is important to realize that no procedure will prevent the formation of new spider veins. For that reason, many patients return for periodic treatment.