Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins: How it Works
- 2021 . 10 . 31
- Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins: How it Works
Spider veins usually form on the legs and thighs, but can occur pretty much anywhere on the body. The great news is that if you’ve got spider veins that have been bothering you for some time now, we can treat them!
Not to be confused with varicose veins, spider veins get their name from the shapes and colours (red, purple, or blue) that they form below the surface of the skin. Varicose veins tend to be larger than spider veins, and will usually bulge beyond the surface of the skin causing swelling and pain, whereas spider veins don’t typically cause discomfort and are usually treated for cosmetic purposes.BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
The reason for the formation of spider veins is not entirely known. They are generally more prevalent in women than in men, and can occur for any number of reasons. Possibilities include genetic predisposition, complications of injuries, hormone changes during pregnancy and menopause and many more. Spider veins usually form on the legs and thighs, but can occur pretty much anywhere on the body.
The beauty is that with sclerotherapy we now have a way of rendering them pretty much invisible.
Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive treatment in which one of our nurses injects a medication or solution, also known as a sclerosant, directly into the spider veins.
The injection of this medication causes the spider veins to close. The blood is then redirected to healthier veins in the same area. The loss of blood flow to the spider veins gradually reduces their visibility, causing them to ultimately disappear and oftentimes these veins are reabsorbed by the body.
You will first have a complimentary consultation with one of our nurses in order to determine whether this is the right treatment for you. During this appointment, a thorough medical history and exam will be done and a discussion around whether the treatment is right for you, and expected outcomes will be discussed.
This treatment is offered at both our Toronto and Mississauga locations, it is a minimally invasive treatment which requires no anesthetic.
The treatment typically takes less than an hour, depending on the number of veins requiring treatment. Your provider will gently inject the medication into the spider veins as well as in the veins that lead to them. A small needle is used to inject the medication into the veins.
Sclerotherapy requires little to no down time. You can return to work or your daily activities immediately following your treatment. However, given that the treatment is performed using needles, you should expect to have small itchy red dots and bruises in the areas treated that will heal within 2 weeks.
We also ask that you avoid sun exposure for 4 days following treatment, and to avoid heavy lifting for 48 hours (light to moderate exercise is fine). Also anything that could increase your risk of infection in the 24 hours following treatment (like swimming or going in a hot tub) should be avoided. We do recommend the use of compression stockings, and arnica cream for 1 week following treatment, for the best results.
Anyone with spider veins and in good overall health is generally a good candidate for sclerotherapy. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is usually done for aesthetic reasons. If your spider veins cause you any discomfort, the treatment will also help to relieve this.
Spider veins may also be very visible, ranging from blue, red, or purple, forming in different directions like spider legs and many patients are simply not happy with the way they look. If this sounds like you then sclerotherapy might be the right treatment option for you.
You are not a candidate for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you are allergic to the medication being injected, or if you have certain underlying conditions, which may be exacerbated by the injection treatment. This will be assessed during your complimentary consultation following a detailed medical history.
It takes a minimum of 3 sessions on any one vein, before you will start to see results. This means that you should not expect to see results right away or after 1 treatment. Sclerotherapy requires a commitment to a series of treatments in order to achieve results.
This result photo was taken only 2 weeks after the patient’s first treatment. She will require 1 or 2 follow-up sessions for the full effects to be seen.
Yes, you will require multiple treatments and a more detailed treatment plan will be discussed at your first visit. Having sclerotherapy or “treating your veins” is much like going to the dentist to get a cleaning: this requires maintenance. Your body may reopen old veins or build new ones and so maintenance is the key to long term success. That might look like a visit every 3, 6 months, or annually, depending on how your body responds.
We are only offering cosmetic sclerotherapy at this time, which means that none of the treatments we offer are eligible for OHIP coverage. During your complimentary consultation we can determine if you are a candidate for cosmetic sclerotherapy and if you require more extensive therapy we will refer you to someone who can provide an OHIP covered treatment.
Cosmetic sclerotherapy costs approximately $150 for 30 injections and $250 for 50 injections. Each set of injections refers to one treatment, and the number of treatments you will require will be determined at your initial consultation. Some patients may require more than 50 injections per treatment, and if this is the case, a custom fee may be offered to you.
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