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How Sclerotherapy Eliminates Spider Veins

The small red, blue, or purple veins that take their name from a spider’s web usually cause no medical problems.  However, they are significant cosmetic issues for many patients and can cause discomfort in some.  Sclerotherapy is the so-called gold standard among procedures that eliminate these problem blood vessels.

Overview of the Sclerotherapy Procedure

The University of Virginia Health System estimates that at least 80 million people in the United States—including half of all women—experience vein disorders like spider or varicose veins.  Doctors who treat these disorders are radiologists or vascular surgeons. Physicians perform this procedure on an outpatient basis, typically at a vein clinic, for individuals seeking spider vein treatment in Kentucky.  It is the preferred option for spider veins as well as small varicose veins. The technique involves injection of a special liquid or foam known as a sclerosant or sclerosing agent into targeted veins using a very fine needle.  The sclerosant has been designed to cause irritation in the selected blood vessels.  A physician might opt to use ultrasound to locate vessels before beginning injections, though this is more common with varicose than with spider veins. As the agent hardens, vein walls begin to collapse and stick together, according to University of Chicago Medicine.  The spider veins, which typically develop on the legs or on the face, eventually disappear since the body absorbs them.  Meanwhile, neighboring healthy veins pick up the circulation workload of vessels that have been destroyed. The Cleveland Clinic indicates that this procedure has been in use in the United Sates since the 1930s.  Only 10 percent of patients fail to respond to this treatment.  These individuals might have a good result from another procedure, such as laser treatment. In just one session, a physician is able to get rid of as many as 80 percent of unwanted spider veins.  The number of vessels the procedure can eliminate in a session depends on:

Who is a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?

The first step in becoming a candidate for use of a sclerosing agent is a consultation at a vein clinic.  The physician will conduct an examination, take a medical history, consider the patient’s stated preferences, and determine who is a candidate for the procedure.  The individuals best suited to this procedure are those who:

Individuals in these situations are not eligible:

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