Sclerotherapy to Treat Spider and Varicose Veins at the Los Angeles Laser Center

Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into spider or varicose veins with a very fine needle to cause inflammation and collapse. At LA Laser Center, our certified dermatologists do not use saline due to the extreme discomfort and pain associated with it. A special solution is used to decrease the pain and allow for much better results. Once the vein has collapsed, no blood can re-enter and the vein is absorbed by the body’s natural responses. V-beam laser treatment is often also used, which destroys the veins through absorbed heat.

What causes spider veins to be visible?

These unwanted blood vessels often occur as an inherited tendency, and may be part of the aging process. Long periods of standing or sitting, trauma to the leg (leg veins) from blows or falls, pregnancy, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy are all factors that can be involved. Exercise and normal weight maintenance may help prevent the onslaught of spider veins.

Is sclerotherapy safe?

Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure with few significant risks when performed by a certified skin doctor. Less than 5% of patients experience even minor adverse effects. The most common complication is the development of brownish pigment in the treated area, similar to a freckle, which usually disappears within two to six months. If the veins are unusually weak, there may be some temporary bruising around the injection site. Patients may develop a tiny scab at the injection site if any of the solution escapes from the blood vessels. The scab is treated with an antibiotic ointment until it clears. There is little risk of infection or bleeding from Sclerotherapy. Furthermore, sclerotherapy is not bad for your circulation. The treatment eliminates veins that are no longer useful, eliminating pain and improving the cosmetic appearance.

How many treatment sessions are needed?

It will depend on the severity of the condition and the extent of improvement desired. Sclerotherapy requires 15 to 30 minutes. Usually, the veins nearly disappear immediately. A few days after the treatment, once the swelling goes down, the results appear even better. Most patients can expect a 50 to 90 percent improvement after several treatments. To guarantee success and counteract the appearance of new spider veins, touch-up treatments may be required every year or so. Since our special solution has made the treatment session very comfortable, the majority of veins can be treated in one session. However, the treatment can be broken down into multiple sessions (1 – 4 weeks apart) if the patient desires.

What happens after the procedure?

After the procedure, the patient returns home wearing a pressure dressing and/or pressure hosiery (for 3 days after treatment) to prevent post-injection bleeding, as well as to promote healing. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure and avoid any strenuous exercise. A healing interval (typically one month) must pass before you have another series of injections in the same site. After each treatment, you will notice further improvement of your appearance.

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