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What are the most effective treatments for spider veins?

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Video Overview

People with spider veins of course want to know what treatments are most effective for their veins. There are two basic options: laser treatment where we're delivering laser light from the outside onto spider veins, the other is sclerotherapy which involves using small needles, making injections into the vein. The goal is the same with laser and sclerotherapy which is to get those veins to seal off, shrink up, and disintegrate. I like lasers and use lasers every day in my practice, but for leg veins most experts really agree that sclerotherapy is the most effective treatment.

So now let me talk a little bit about what's involved in sclerotherapy. The patient will be lying down and we cleanse their skin with some alcohol. We use very small needles, I mean it is a needle not a massage but they're small needles so most people find it not a big deal to go through. We'll make the injection into the veins with the goal to get those veins to shrink, collapse, and go away. A treatment takes generally between 20 to 30 minutes. When we're done, people wear compression stockings usually for about 3 to 4 days. We do want them to be up and active aerobically: walking, or biking, or treadmill. In fact, we have them walk on a treadmill for a few minutes right after treatment, which I think is good for their veins. We ask them to avoid certain things such as hot baths, heavy weight lifting and long travel for several days.

Now it's important to understand that it takes several weeks to see the full effect of the treatment. So I recommend that people give it at least a month and that we wait about that time or longer to do the next treatment. And that brings up an important point; it's typical for people to require a few treatments to get maximum clearing. So most people might need between 2 to 5 treatment depending on how many veins they've got and just how responsive they are. The other things I'd like to say is that, let's say we clear all of the veins that you have now, that doesn't mean that you won't have other veins in the future; in fact, we expect that. And now the analogy I like to use is that it's bit like weeding a garden. We can do some work, get things in better shape and from time to time we'll need to do maintenance treatments in order to maintain your legs in the best possible condition.

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