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Sclerotherapy at Los Angeles’ Sunset Cosmetic Surgery is a cosmetic technique used to reduce the appearance of spider veins, which are clusters of thin red, blue, or purple colored veins that appear on the thighs, calves, ankles, and sometimes the face.
Patients often ask us what causes these veins to show up in some people and not others. There are many reasons, including aging, genetics, pregnancy, hormone changes, and extended periods of sitting or standing. Even some medications can be contributing factors to the development of spider veins.
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Some estimate that half of all adult women are affected by spider veins. Not only are these veins aesthetically displeasing, they can also cause physical discomfort including pain, swelling, burning, and night cramps. Sclerotherapy can be an excellent way to diminish the appearance of these bothersome and painful veins for patients who suffer from them.
Spider veins, medically termed telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities, can vary in size and skin depth. Most spider veins can be successfully treated with sclerotherapy, though larger troublesome veins (like varicose veins) may not be treated with this method.
Good candidates usually include adult women who are not currently breastfeeding or pregnant and men. Patients with certain medical conditions, like AIDS, hepatitis, heart conditions, circulation problems, and diabetes, may not be good candidates for sclerotherapy.
Veins collapse and fade from view when exposed to the sclerotherapy solution. The veins that are close enough to the surface of the skin to see are not productive, functioning veins, so they are not needed for any role in the body.
The procedure itself takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, during which time between five and 40 injections are administered to the affected areas. During sclerotherapy a patient can be fully awake due to the low level of discomfort associated with this technique.
Sclerotherapy is a safe, effective, non-invasive procedure that can greatly diminish the appearance of spider veins.
Sclerotherapy generally does not require a recovery period. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the treatment, but should take it easy for a day or two. Bed rest is not required, but you should avoid strenuous exercise for a few days after a treatment. Some patients experience minor leg cramping in the first few days. Veins may look worse temporarily after sclerotherapy before they get better. The number of treatments needed varies by patient, but within a few visits, the desired results are achieved for most patients.