Spider veins are a common cosmetic concern for women. However, many men also consider them annoying. One way a Tampa vein clinic treats this problem is with a procedure called sclerotherapy.
These vessels are small and appear as red, blue or purple surface veins that widen and most often appear on the legs, says PubMedHealth. A number of factors put patients at risk for this vascular problem:
- Being obese or overweight
- A family history
- Topical steroid use
- Standing or sitting for extended periods
- Female hormone usage
Some people believe that varicose veins and spider veins are the same disorder. They’re not, vascular surgeons tell us. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, varicose vessels are larger, deeper, lumpier and a brighter color than spider veins.
Some patients who seek Tampa vein treatment consider spider veins more than just a cosmetic issue. They complain of pain, itching, throbbing, burning, cramping and/or severe fatigue in the affected limb.
The Role of Sclerotherapy
Patients who see a Florida vein doctor for either spider or varicose veins might be treated with this procedure. It’s the most common method used to effectively treat spider veins.
After a physician injects a sclerosing agent into a targeted vein, the resulting irritation causes the vessel to scar and appear less prominent. While various sclerosing agents are used in Tampa vein treatment, one of the most common is a concentrated saline liquid.
A number of temporary side effects can occur, the Mayo Clinic indicates. The most common are bruising at the injection site, small sores on the skin, red and raised areas and a patch of darkened skin. More serious but also less common are blood clots, air bubbles, inflammation and reactions to the sclerosing agent.
It’s important to keep in mind that this procedure doesn’t stop new spider veins from forming. Some patients return every few years for treatment.
What Patients Should Expect
Physicians perform the procedure in outpatient settings. A session takes around 10 minutes, and some individuals require multiple appointments. During an initial consultation, the physician takes a medical history and provides instructions on medications that should be stopped for a specific period before the procedure.
The size and the number of vessels to be treated determine the number of injections required. Sometimes patients report slight stinging or cramping with the insertion of the needle that delivers the solution. Once the needle has been withdrawn, the physician massages the area around the injection site and applies compression.
Most doctors recommend wearing compression or support stockings to minimize bruising. Patients usually see results within a few weeks and are able to follow their regular schedule immediately after the procedure.