Sclerotherapy

Spider Vein Treatment at Buckhead Plastic Surgery, Atlanta

Throughout the world, millions of women are bothered by spider veins – those small yet unsightly clusters of red, blue or purple veins that most commonly appear on the thighs, calves and ankles. With the relatively simple procedure of sclerotherapy, veins are injected with a sclerosing solution, which causes them to collapse and fade from view. The procedure may also decrease the bothersome symptoms associated with spider veins, including aching, burning, swelling and night cramps.

Although this procedure has been used in Europe for more than 50 years, it has only become popular in the United States during the past decade. The introduction of sclerosing agents that are mild enough to be used in small veins has made sclerotherapy predictable and relatively painless.

What are Spider Veins?

In the medical world, they're known as telangiectasias – small, thin spider veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. Although these super-fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an essential part of it.

A number of factors contribute to the development of spider veins, including heredity, pregnancy and other events that cause hormonal shifts. Weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing, and the use of certain medications may also contribute to the development of spider veins.

Spider veins usually take on one of three basic patterns. They may appear in a true spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a dark central point; they may be arborizing and will resemble tiny branch-like shapes; or they may be simply linear and appear as thin separate lines. Linear spider veins are commonly seen on the inner knee, whereas the arborizing pattern often appears on the outer thigh in a sunburst or cartwheel distribution.

Recovery Time for Spider Vein Treatment

  • Recovery time: two weeks
  • Resume normal activity: immediately

What are Varicose Veins?

Different than spider veins, varicose veins are larger— usually more than a quarter-inch in diameter, darker in color, and tend to bulge. Varicose veins are also more likely to cause pain and be related to more serious vein disorders. For some patients, sclerotherapy can be used to treat varicose veins. However, surgical treatment is often necessary for this condition.

The standard treatment for enlarged varicose veins is removal of the veins or sections of the veins. The procedure is called vein stripping. It is safe and effective, with minimal discomfort and recovery time. Typically, you can expect to be hospitalized the day of surgery, and you'll go home the same day or the next. Many people are walking the day after surgery.

The enlarged veins are removed through small incisions, which are closed with a plastic surgery technique that minimizes scarring.

Recovery Time for Varicose Vein Treatment

  • Recovery time: 1-2 weeks
  • Resume normal activity: 1-2

Learn More About Vein Treatment

If you're seeking vein treatment in Atlanta, we encourage you to call Buckead Plastic Surgery, the practice of board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alan N. Larsen. Call (404) 367‐9005 to inquire about a consultation for sclerotherapy.