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How do you treat patients with varicose veins?


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In many cases, varicose veins are too small to be treated with sclerotherapy. These are referred to as spider veins or reticular veins. These are located closer to the surface of the skin and generally are too small to be injected with a needle during sclerotherapy. For tiny swollen veins, called telangiectasias, even laser treatment and other types of spider vein treatment may be too intense or too strong. If you are experiencing trouble with the appearance of very tiny dark lines on your face, legs, ankles or other body parts, you may want to consult a vein doctor about Veinwave™.

Veinwave is designed to remove telangiectasia, these swollen veins that are even smaller than spider veins. It is often used as an alternative to laser therapy for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins that are too small for traditional sclerotherapy treatment. Typically, Veinwave can treat small spider veins on face, legs, knees and ankles. The product claims to be painlessly effective without any risk of bruises or scars after the procedure, although very few patients have complained of scars. The whole procedure takes roughly 10 minutes and should not interfere with normal daily activities.

During the Veinwave procedure, a miniscule-sized needle is used to inject a special chemical beneath the surface of the skin where pigmentation or dark lines have appeared. The needle does not actually have to touch the blood vessels causing the dark lines. Through a process called thermocoagulation that uses heat to cause blood clotting in nearby vessels, the veins will begin to heal and will disappear completely within a few days. Unlike other varicose vein treatment and spider vein treatment, Veinwave supposedly has permanent results. You will not need to schedule repeat procedures of Veinwave to treat your tiny spider veins. In the case that additional telangiectasias develop, however, a repeat session of Veinwave is safe and recommended. Insurance companies will not cover the cost of spider vein treatment with Veinwave, as it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not a medical procedure.

Vein doctors and researchers developed Veinwave technology as a safe alternative to laser treatment and light therapy. Until that time, fine varicose veins treatment was not widely available. Overall, Veinwave is considered to be a very safe skin enhancement procedure. It has been approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, even though its introduction into the world of cosmetics is relatively recent. Veinwave is now available in many countries.


Reviewed by Steven E. Zimmet, MD, RVT, FACPh
Editor of Phlebology
President, Zimmet Vein & Dermatology
Past-President, American College of Phlebology

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