Love Your Legs Again

By: Dr. J. Keith Thompson

1/12/2024

There are more important things in life than worrying about not wanting to wear shorts or showing off your legs due to visible spider veins. While it’s true these nuisances can make you self-conscious, there is good news! You don’t have to live with spider veins because treatments are available and simple! Let’s take a deeper look into all things Sclerotherapy, so you can indeed love your legs again.

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure commonly used to treat some varicose veins and spider veins. This office-based, quick treatment involves injecting the affected veins with a medication that causes the damaged veins to collapse and ultimately disappear. While it’s primarily a medical intervention aimed at improving vein health, it has the added benefit of creating a more positive perception of your leg’s appearance.

Here are some common questions patients often ask when considering sclerotherapy:

How long is each sclerotherapy session and does it hurt?

Treatments are typically 20-30 minute sessions and most patients find the procedures very tolerable with no pain.

Do my spider veins disappear immediately?

Unfortunately, not typically. The smaller veins may disappear quickly while they are being injected: however, the medication causes inflammation inside the vein so that the vein typically turns red and looks irritated for a few days. It is important to understand that sclerotherapy is a process that often requires multiple sessions. We caution our patients that not all information on social media is accurate and it is important to have realistic expectations when beginning sclerotherapy treatment. Some veins may actually look worse before they begin to heal and fade which is why we typically don’t recommended doing sclerotherapy within days of going on a planned beach trip or somewhere you expect to be showing off your legs.

Post treatment, do I have to limit any activities?

Yes and No. It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercises such as lifting heavy weights or vigorous hiking and avoid soaking in a hot tub for at least one week. However, normal day-to-day activities and walking are encouraged and harmless. While compression stockings are not required, they will help speed up and make the recovery time more comfortable.

Can my spider veins return after treatment?

Once a vein is treated and has time to heal, it will fade for good. However, sclerotherapy does not prevent new spider veins from developing. Since 80% of the population ultimately develop spider veins, treatments can be ongoing. But thankfully, the results of sclerotherapy are good, and the difference between the before and after is impressive!

How will I feel after sclerotherapy?

Common symptoms after a treatment may involve some mild itching and redness at the injection sites. Most patients find the post treatment symptoms very minimal.

What should I do if I am bothered by my spider veins?

For the best results, patients should seek an evaluation by a board-certified vein specialist who can evaluate the problematic veins and recommend a personalized course of treatment.

Spider veins don’t have to be an ongoing source of self-consciousness. Take advantage of the treatment options available and let a vein specialist help you regain the legs of your youth, improve your vein health, and love your legs again!

About the Author: Keith Thompson, DO, RVT, FACOS, is a board-certified vein surgeon and has performed thousands of vein procedures. He is the Medical Director of the Vein Institute in D’Iberville and Hattiesburg. Dr. Thompson also serves on committees of the American Venous Forum, a leading organization for shaping vein policy and training vascular surgeons all across the country. Visit www.veinsms.com for more information.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.