What are spider veins?
Spider veins 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. Factors that contribute to the development of spider veins include heredity, pregnancy and other events that cause hormonal shifts, weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing.
Spider veins usually take on one of three basic patterns. They may appear in a true spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a dark central point; they may be arborizing and will resemble tiny branch-like shapes; or they may be simple linear and appear as thin separate lines.
Varicose veins differ from spider veins in a number of ways. Varicose veins are larger - usually more than a quarter-inch in diameter, darker in color and tend to bulge. Varicose veins are also more likely to cause pain and be related to more serious vein disorders. For some patients, sclerotherapy can be used to treat varicose veins. However, often surgical treatment is necessary for this condition.
How is the procedure performed?
A typical sclerotherapy session is relatively quick, lasting about 30 minutes. As the procedure continues, you will feel small needle sticks and possibly a mild burning sensation. However, the needle used is so thin and the sclerosing solution is so mild that pain is usually minimal.
What should I expect from Sclerotherapy?
After each sclerotherapy session, the veins will appear lighter. Two or more sessions are usually required to achieve optimal results.