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Sclerotherapy is a well tried and tested technique that has been used over the last century for dealing with "spider veins". What has changed in the last couple of years is the understanding of the disease process of which spider veins are a part, and the areas of treatment and the protocols for successful treatment.
Spider veins should not be thought of as an isolated skin entity. Spider veins are a part of the whole spectrum of venous disease and all spider vein treatments are performed by Dr. Parish and not a nurse or physician assistant to ensure safety and excellence of care. Experience, patient safety and continuity of care from start to finish are what set the Varicosis, Cosmetic and Laser Center apart from other vein centers.
Spider veins come from larger veins that may not be visible on the skin surface. Varicosis is largely a genetic disease of abnormally weakened veins with secondary impact comprised of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and the aging process, together with the impact of gravity. It is because of the gravity that we develop Varicosis on our legs and not on our hands. It is because of gravity that this is an ongoing process, particularly around the knees and around the ankles. We can now more effectively control and correct spider vein pathology because of our techniques and understanding of the disease process.
The process of sclerotherapy utilizes the introduction of an irritant into the vein wall by the way of an injection. The irritant creates an inflammation in the vein wall, and once the inflammation has healed the vein collapses and disappears. The body has to heal and there is no magic to this, therefore it will take two to four weeks to see the results of an injections session. The ideal time to return is at two weeks because the vein walls are now sensitized and a more effective response to treatment occurs on the second visit. The rerouting of blood from the unhealthy veins to normal, deeper veins in the muscles increases the efficiency of the circulation back to the heart. Sclerotherapy is still the most effective way of dealing with medium and smaller veins. It can be combined with laser treatment for the very finest spider veins, but only after the underlying problems have been taken care of. Patients who are concerned about the pain of injection need to be reassured that any discomfort they have can be very adequately controlled with a short acting agent called Nitrous Oxide that is breathed through the nose (laughing gas). Patients will never go to sleep; this is safe and effective and should only be used by those who find that the minimal discomfort is unacceptable to them. The reality is ninety-five percent of the patients undergoing sclerotherapy have minimal discomfort.
Patients must understand that the more spider veins they have throughout their legs the more trips they will require, approximately two to eight visits, and that they need to have patience during the first two visits while the pressure in the system is being normalized. We will get there, but patience and understanding of the problem you have is paramount.