Spider and varicose veins occur in about half of the US adult population. They are caused by a weakening of the valves in the veins and a back up of blood. There are many things that increase the risk of developing leg veins, including a close family member with leg veins, increased age, prolonged sitting or standing, pregnancy, hormonal changes, sun exposure or obesity.
What can I do about leg veins?
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment and uses an injection technique to get rid of unwanted leg veins. Asclera (polidocanol) is a sclerosing agent that is injected into the veins to cause them to reduce in size or shut down completely. Patients often require 2-3 sessions spaced 6-8 weeks apart.
Who is a candidate?
Most patients with small spider veins or with varicose veins up to 3mm in diameter.
Who is not a candidate?
Anyone with acute vein and blood clotting diseases, those with a known allergy to Asclera ingredients, and those who are pregnant or nursing.
What is the treatment like?
One or more injections using a very small needle are made into the veins. The injections are usually very well tolerated with only a slight pricking sensation, but we can apply numbing cream to the area for 30 minutes to make it even easier. The treatment takes between 15-30 minutes, depending on how many veins are present.
What should I expect after the treatment?
You may have slight itching or irritation to the injection site, which subsides within minutes. You will be instructed to wear compression stockings for 3 days continuously (except for showers) and for 2-3 weeks during the day time. You will also be asked to avoid heavy exercise, sunbathing, long plane rides or sitting in hot tubs or saunas for about 3 days.
Are there any possible complications?
Yes. Very rarely, patients may experience an allergic reaction, small ulcers or pain. An interaction with the polidocanol and your iron may cause a temporary brown discoloration of the veins treated. The chance of this occurring can be greatly reduced by limiting the amount of product being injected and by going to an experienced provider.