Orlando Spider Vein Treatment
Sclerotherapy Pre-Treatment Instructions
This patient information and photograph on Orlando Spider Vein Treatment of the Legs is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
As we age, tiny blue or purple veins often appear on the legs just beneath the skin's surface. These are called venulectasia, "spider veins" or "sunburst" veins after their shape. Though harmless, spider veins can be very unsightly. Today many individuals are opting for their removal using sclerotherapy, a safe and effective cosmetic procedure. Many of our clients come to us for Orlando Spider Vein Treatment.
What is sclerotherapy? Sclerotherapy is a technique used by dermatologists to remove spider veins. A sclerosing agent is injected into the affected veins. This substance reacts with the walls of the vein causing the veins to seal off. As a result the veins become less visible.
Can all varicose or dilated veins be treated with sclerotherapy? No. Large varicose veins on the legs don't respond well and veins on the face can't be injected (but can be treated with laser). Additionally, it is often impossible to inject into some of the smallest veins. Sometimes there are vessels that just don't respond to sclerotherapy. In our office, because we are a laser center, we frequently use laser in combination with sclerotherapy. We tailor each treatment for the individual.
Is it painful? There is some slight discomfort to none depending on which sclerosing agent is being injected but anesthesia is not required. There is usually minimal or no post-operative pain.
How much improvement should I expect? Improvement will not be immediate. You should expect fading of the veins over a two to six week period. Some veins may fade up to six months later. Patience is important, this is not a miracle overnight elimination of all veins. In general, the average person will get better than 60% improvement and occasionally some will see almost total clearing of all treated veins.
How many treatments will it take? This of course varies from individual to individual depending on the extent and number of veins. Most patients require several treatments (two to eight sessions).
How is the treatment done? The area of treatment is prepped with alcohol. A very fine needle is inserted in the vein to be treated. A small amount of sclerosing agent is injected. There is usually a slight stinging sensation as the sclerosing agent is successfully introduced into the vein. We have never had to stop a treatment session because it was too painful.
Which sclerosing agents do you inject? We use either Polidocanol or Hypertonic saline (concentrated salt water). Hypertonic saline does not have any risks for allergic reactions, but it is slightly uncomfortable when injected and cramping may occur during the injection. Hypertonic saline occasionally causes a skin ulceration that may heal with a small scar. Polidocanol although not approved by the FDA as a sclerosing agent it is one of the most widely used in the United States. It does not cause skin ulcerations and it is not associated with discomfort on injections. It also seems to have fewer instances of hyperpigmentation (skin staining) than other sclerosing agents. Although allergic reactions have been reported they are rare. I will discuss with you what I feel is the best treatment for you.
What are the complications of sclerotherapy? Fortunately, severe complications for sclerotherapy is rare. Allergies to the medicine can occur but this is typically rare. Skin ulcerations may occur infrequently and are unpredictable. Deep Venous Thrombosis (clotting of the large veins in the legs) fortunately is very rare when treating superficial veins, but if you have a history of this condition we would recommend against sclerotherapy.
More frequent side effects may be: Staining of the skin along treated veins in about 25% of people. This usually resolves but may take many months to clear and may require a bleaching cream to help the process. Small clots in the treated veins...these usually clear on their own, but may be tender. Bruising which is temporary. Capillary matting, which is an increase in very fine red blood vessels around the treated sites. Matting may clear on its own or require further injections or laser.
How much does sclerotherapy cost? Because each patient is different it is impossible to give a fixed price for the procedure. We bill according to the time used in the procedure. Please schedule for a sclerotherapy consultation and we can discuss pricing in detail after we have evaluated your needs.
Will insurance cover this procedure? Since this is a cosmetic procedure, payment is required at the time of service. Insurance companies will not reimburse you for treatments.