What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins, known in the medical world as telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities, are small, thin veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. Although these super-fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an essential part of it.
Spider veins can be caused by a number of factors including: heredity, pregnancy or hormonal changes, weight gain, occupations, prolonged standing or sitting and some medications.
Am I suitable for Sclerotherapy?
Men and women of any age are suitable for Sclerotherapy.
If pregnant or breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to postpone Sclerotherapy until finished as spider veins developed while pregnant have a high chance of disappearing on their own within 3 months and the sclerosing solution may affect breast milk.
What can I expect from Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy can enhance your appearance and self confidence, however, it is unrealistic to think that every affected vein can disappear completely as a result of treatment. Veins will appear lighter and it may take 2 or more session to achieve optimal results.
Sclerotherapy can only treat visible spider veins, it cannot prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.
Are there any Risks?
It is extremely rare to suffer serious medical complications from Sclerotherapy, however they may occur.
Risks include: DVT, inflammation, allergic reactions to sclerosing solution, skin ulceration which can lead to scaring, pigmentation which can take up to 12 months to fade and also telangiectatic matting in which fine reddish blood vessels appear around the treated area which require further injections.
How do I prepare for my treatment?
You need to ensure you do not apply any moisturizers, sunscreen or oil to your legs on the day of your procedure. You may want to bring loose fitting shorts to wear during the treatment and loose pants to wear home. Ensure you bring any prescribed stockings.
Please be aware that your legs may be bruised and slightly discoloured after your treatment so you may not feel comfortable wearing shorts, swimsuit or skirts for a couple of weeks afterwards.
- The treatment is usually quite quick, lasting between 30-60mins depending on how many injections that are required, which could be between 5 and 20 injections.
- You will need to lie down on the examination table.
- The area will be cleaned using an antiseptic solution.
- Cotton wool, tape and a compression bandage is applied to each area as it is finished.
- You will feel small needle sticks and possibly a mild burning sensation, however the needle that is used is very small that the pain is minimal.
After the Treatment
- You will need to go for a 10-20 minute walk immediately post injections.
- When seated, leg/s will need to be elevated for 24 hours post injection.
- 3 layer compression will be applied to the area and a stocking may be prescribed if one hasn’t been already. The bandage can be removed after 24 hours and the stocking worn for 2 weeks.
- It is not uncommon to experience some cramping in the legs for the first day or two. If the cramping persists please contact Mr. Holdaway.
- Once the bandage and stockings have been removed you may still have some bruising and perhaps some brownish skin pigmentation. The bruising will fade within a month however, the pigmentation may take up to a year to completely fade.
- You will have a follow up scan 6 weeks after your injections and review with Mr. Holdaway.
How long until I’m back to normal activities?
- It is a good idea not to participate in any strenuous activity for between 5-7 days after treatment to encourage healing.
- You are encouraged to walk to prevent clots from forming in the deep veins of the legs.
- During your treatment program, prolonged sitting or standing as well as squatting, lifting heavy weights and “pounding” types of exercise including jogging should be avoided.
- There is a 1 month healing interval before you can have your second treatment in the same site.
- As time passes you may find that you require “touch ups” or full treatments for new veins that may surface.
Please Note: If you suffer any of the following please contact Mr. Damien Holdaway on 03 5229 5055 or if after hours, his pager 03 9387 1000
- Severe pain
- Severe cramping