What is Cosmetic Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a telangiectasia also commonly referred to as a “spider vein,” is injected with a sclerosing agent, which works to shrink/lighten/completely eliminate the unnecessary vessel. This will result in a cleaner, more even tone and appearance of the leg. Sclerotherapy can be done in conjunction with other vein procedures (i.e., RF ablation or an ambulatory phlebotomy), however it is usually performed after those procedures to “clean up” the leg for a more desirable cosmetic appearance.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small tortuous vessels easily visible through the skin, which vary in color from red, purple, and blue. They can be found on your thighs or lower legs (even on your face!) and are extremely common, especially in women. Why do we get spider veins? To answer this, we have to delve into the anatomy of a vein. Veins contain small valves that function to help push blood back toward the heart, when these valves are weakened or damaged, blood pools inside the vessel. This process is called reflux, and results in the vein becoming larger and more visible.
At La Chelè Medical, we use a combination of Sotradecol and Asclera solutions based on your medical history and needs. For those needing ultrasound we work with our partner Practice, Advanced Heart and Vascular that does advanced imaging in house, phlebectomies, or EVLT.
Example of a telangiectasia:
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins have a strong genetic etiology. However, there are many other factors, which can elicit the formation of a spider vein, these include:
- Hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause)
- Tobacco use
- Sun exposure
- Sedentary lifestyle
Does Sclerotherapy hurt?
The process of sclerotherapy is quite simple and involves minimal discomfort. Your legs will be cleansed and a very small needle is then used to inject a sclerosing agent into the unwanted spider veins. It is common to experience bruising after this procedure, which can last for up to two weeks. Darkening of the treated vessels is also an expected outcome, for this reason we recommend you give yourself enough time to heal before showing off your beautiful legs!
How long should I wear my compression stocking for after sclerotherapy?
What am I required to do after sclerotherapy treatment? After-care is simple! You will be instructed to wear medical grade compression stockings after your treatment for one week, this ensures that the sclerosing agent stays inside the vessel and will yield a better aesthetic result. We recommend medical grade compression stockings, 20-30mmHg; stockings can be purchased for an additional fee, or you may bring your own. It is important to avoid all vasodilating activities such as aerobic exercise and warm hot tubs during the first week.
How many sessions of Sclerotherapy will I need?
It is important to note that sclerotherapy typically requires multiple sessions in order to achieve your cosmetic goals. Remember, your body created these vessels over many years! Treatments can be performed four to six weeks apart. Sclerotherapy is recommended in the fall or winter months as treated spider veins should not be exposed to the sun.
If you notice that you are experiencing pain or heaviness in your legs, large or bulging vessels, or lower extremity swelling our team may refer you for ultrasound testing to look for deeper venous diseases before treatment is started at our Partner Practice.
Give us a call to schedule your consultation in Newtown, or New Hope, PA at 215-862-6100.