Large, bulging varicose veins may be common — about one in four adults in the United States has one — but sprawling networks of smaller spider veins are even more prevalent: as many as four in five Americans develop these distinct surface veins somewhere along their legs.
If unwanted spider veins leave you feeling self-conscious about your appearance, experienced vein removal expert Johnny L. Serrano, DO, FACOS, and the team at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy can help.
Here’s how a relatively simple vein removal technique called sclerotherapy makes it possible to get rid of unappealing spider veins safely, effectively, and without having to undergo surgery.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are a visible network of small, thin surface veins that are characterized by their sprawling, web-like appearance. Like larger varicose veins, spider veins appear when a chronic venous insufficiency causes them to swell and distort beyond their normal size and shape.
Spider veins aren’t painful or even harmful, but they can be quite conspicuous, especially if they form an extensive reticulation of red or blue lines across a large area of skin. Many people opt to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
Why do I have spider veins?
Spider veins often occur in the lower extremities for the same reason that most varicose veins appear there, too: pressure. Simply put, the veins in your legs have to work against gravity to keep blood moving toward your heart.
Although they contain a series of one-way valves to help them achieve this continuous feat, these valves aren’t impervious to damage or dysfunction. And when they’re weak or don’t work as they should, blood can back up behind them and pool, causing your veins to swell.
Repeated pooling and swelling within a large, deep vein causes that vein to become varicose; in smaller surface veins, it leads to the formation of visible spider veins.
How does sclerotherapy work?
Sclerotherapy is widely considered the best treatment solution for lower extremity spider veins that appear across your thighs, behind your knees, along your calves, around your ankles, or on the tops of your feet. It’s also an ideal solution for mid-sized varicose veins.
During a sclerotherapy treatment, Dr. Serrano uses a very small needle to inject a saline solution directly into the problematic vein. The benign liquid injection irritates the lining of the targeted vein, causing it to close.
By compelling your blood to reroute itself through healthier veins, sclerotherapy causes the unwanted vein to collapse, form into scar tissue, and eventually fade away.
What kind of results can I expect?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require advanced preparation or even a local anesthetic. You can also expect your recovery to be as quick, easy, and gentle as the treatment itself — as long as you wear your compression garment as directed, you should be able to resume your normal activities without restriction.
About four weeks after your treatment, you’ll return to the office so Dr. Serrano can examine your results. While many spider veins disappear completely after just one treatment, some may require a second treatment to dissolve any residual vein sections that are still visible.
Sclerotherapy is quick and easy, but most importantly, it’s effective: most treated spider veins disappear within a month with little risk of side effects, no scarring, and zero downtime.
To learn more about spider vein treatment at Precision Surgery and Advanced Vein Therapy in Glendale, Arizona, call 602-393-1304 or click online to schedule a visit with Dr. Serrano today.