How To Eliminate Those Pesky And Unsightly Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy might be the coolest procedure to bear witness to, and is still the best method to eliminate those pesky and unsightly spider veins!
At first, it might seem a bit kooky… the concept of injecting veins with a solution to make them disappear – and yet it left an indelible mark on my memory as a pre-teen with my mother who was seeking some relief for her spider veins. Even though this was twenty years ago, I still remember the instant when my mother's doctor injected her leg with solution and I saw her purplish veins first flood and then vanish. Her legs seemed to be immediately cleared of those pesky little spider veins. It was almost magical.
Even though her veins didn’t appear purple anymore, it actually took a few weeks for the veins to truly and completely disappear. Per the Mayo Clinic, "Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades."
What is the injection?
Twenty years ago, my mother received an injection of saline solution, which can cause slight discomfort. Saltwater in the veins? Yes, a little discomfort would be expected. In certain circumstances, newer solutions have replaced hypertonic saline with a gentler alternative, the FDA-approved sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS).
When to consult a doctor?
Consider sclerotherapy when you feel that the colorful veins are taking center stage instead of your legs and you’re self-conscious enough about it to take action.
The procedure and after care:
The injection will take place in a doctor's office and you can be walking soon after. Walking is actually recommended to prevent blood clots, a potential side effect of the procedure. More vigorous exercise is not advised for a week or two following the procedure and you should be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Other factors to consider:
Bruising is a side effect, and compression stockings are recommended in the weeks after the procedure, so waiting until shorts season has passed is most advisable.
And of course…
As always, seek care from a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada A procedure may "seem" simple, but your health and safety should always be a priority and you do not want any procedure performed by an unqualified practioner.