Varicose veins and spider veins begin as normal veins in the legs. If the valves are abnormal or leak, the vein gets bigger and can begin to cause both cosmetic and physical discomfort. Larger, bulging veins are varicose veins. Smaller veins that resemble a spider’s legs are known as spider veins.
At Medical Aesthetics of Muskoka, Dr. Kents uses a technique called sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sugary solution into the abnormal veins. This results in an irritation inside the vein causing it to collapse. The body eventually absorbs the treated vein and symptoms are improved.
What to Expect
Dr. Kents will perform a detailed history and physical exam to determine if a client is a suitable candidate for sclerotherapy. Very large veins or people with severely leaky valves in their veins may be better treated by surgery or laser treatments.
Clients cannot receive sclerotherapy if they are pregnant, have blood clots in their legs or lungs, or are known to have a clotting disorder.
Appointments take 30 minutes for initial consultation and treatment, and 20 minutes for each additional visit. Multiple injections are often required during a single visit. To increase comfort, clients may take acetaminophen prior to each appointment. Ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided as they increase the risk of bruising.
Immediately after a treatment compression socks will be applied to the legs, or tensor bandages can be purchased for additional cost through the clinic. Clients can return to normal activities, and should engage in 30 minutes of physical activity by the end of the day. Avoid heat on the legs, such as baths or hot tubs, for the next 3-4 days.
Side effects include bruising, occasional dark spots at treatment sites, and very rarely allergic reactions. Occasionally, the reaction within the vein is stronger than normal. This occurrence is treated with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, and compression socks or a tensor bandage.
Most clients require several treatment sessions to achieve satisfactory results. At Medical Aesthetics of Muskoka, we suggest treatments every 3-6 weeks until the condition of the veins has improved. Touch-up treatments may be required to maintain results over time.