Spider veins are clusters of small prominent veins that appear mostly on the legs. Many women find them troublesome and dislike the appearance, especially in summer when one wants to wear shorts and dresses.
Spider veins are caused by mixture of genetics, gravity and decreased function of the deeper venous system. 8 out of 10 patients with significant spider veins have them because their deeper veins have become less effective at returning blood back to the heart, so the blood is diverted to these more superficial veins
A number of treatments are available to help treat spider veins. At Central Wagga Medical, we use a treatment called Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution, called a sclerosing solution, directly into the spider vein with a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the spider veins, causing them to stick together. Once this occurs, the blood can no longer pool in the vein and over time the appearance of the vein will fade or disappear. Large veins require repeat injections and very small veins may be unsuitable to treat if they are too fine for a needle to be inserted.
After the treatment your legs will be wrapped in a firm bandage. It is recommended that you minimise your time standing for a days after the procedure. The use of stockings after the procedure is under debate. At Central Wagga Medical, we recommend you wear firm compression stockings for a week if possible.
Anyone with spider veins can try sclerotherapy, however patients with severe disease or indicators or deep vein dysfunction, will benefit from a vein ultrasound and review by a vascular surgeon first. Dr Purnell will perform a full assessment and provide a referral if necessary.
The treatment is very well tolerated. The needles are very fine and cause minimal discomfort when injected. All patients will experience redness, some bruising and little welts at the sites of the injection. These fade quickly. Dr Purnell will discuss all the benefits and risks with you prior to commencing any treatment.