Spider veins are small veins visible on the skin in the color of red, blue and purple. You can usually notice them on the face and the legs. Many reasons could account for the development of spider veins:
• Hereditary factors
• Hormonal changes due to puberty, pregnancy or menopause
• Injury to the skin
• High exposure to UV rays
• An occupation that involves staying in the same position for a long time, like sitting or standing
Spider veins may result in a throbbing pain in the affected areas. The most common treatment for spider veins removal is Sclerotherapy while laser treatment and surgical options are also available.
During your consultation with the surgeon, be prepared to discuss all the pertinent medical issues you had in the past. The surgeon will ask questions about any injuries or past surgeries and treatment in the area of the spider veins.
The surgeon will examine the veins physically and through scans and check for any potential complications that could affect the treatment. Once everything is clear, he will recommend the best course of action to remove the spider veins.
If the spider veins are present in the legs, then the surgeon may start with the support stockings in the affected area. This stocking will be a skin-tight material that will put the pressure on the affected veins.
In case the condition of the spider veins is acute, the surgeon will skip the stockings and recommend Sclerotherapy or laser treatment.
For both sclerotherapy and laser treatment, you should follow certain steps before procedures:
• Avoid smoking for at least four weeks before the treatment
• Stop taking aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory drugs which may not help with fast blood clotting
• Stop taking certain medications on the advice of the surgeon
Before you go for the treatment, please know that there are some risks with spider vein removal treatment like infection, bruising, heavy pigmentation and permanent scarring. If you are skeptic about the treatment or have second thoughts due to the side effects, have an open conversation with the surgeon and get all your doubts sorted.
To remove the spider veins from your body, here are some of the most recommended form of treatments.
In this procedure, the surgeon injects a specially made solution or a highly concentrated saline solution into the affected veins. This solution works from inside the vein and slowly makes it disappear in the course of about three to six weeks.
If you have multiple spider veins, then the surgeon may use more injections to cover all the affected veins and make them fade away.
The laser treatment requires the surgeon to administer local anesthesia to the patient as this could cause minor discomfort and pain. There are two ways to remove leg veins through laser treatment.
Inserting Laser fiber: The laser fiber is inserted directly into the veins and the laser pulses are used to collapse the veins. This is only used for large veins and not for spider veins .
Using Pulsed laser light: Also called as surface laser, this light uses heat energy selectively on the affected veins to destroy it. However, this method has many side effects and hence rarely recommended by the surgeons.
After both the above treatment methods, you should wear the stockings if the affected area is on the legs else the surgeon will bandage them.
You may feel some pain and discomfort during the first few days after the treatment for which the surgeon may prescribe some drugs. Depending on the intensity of the treatment, you may be required to take rest for few weeks.
The surgeon will recommend you to follow some important aftercare measures:
• Do not walk, run, squat or use your legs excessively during the first week.
• On the advice of the surgeon, treat the affected area with cream.
• If you had the spider vein treatment performed on your legs, you must use stocking for at least a month.
• After one week, you can start walking around lightly and slowly increase the period of walking.
• After the treatment, avoid sitting or standing in a place for a long time to avoid the occurrence of spider veins again. Take short breaks for every hour and change your position.
In a month or two, you can visibly see the results of the treatment with the disappearance of the spider veins. Ensure to follow all the precautions to keep the spider veins from forming again.
Spider veins could lead to severe health problems if you take them for granted. As soon as you observe them, visiting an expert is important for immediate intervention. Surgeons usually perform Sclerotherapy, laser procedures etc. among the other surgical options to help you get prompt relief from this ailment.
The information is being provided by plasticsurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Priti Shukla, Plastic Surgeon on: 12-JUN-2020