The presence of varicose veins and spider veins can make a person's life very uncomfortable. Not only are these vein problems noticeable to anyone around, they can also be painful. Treatments such as elevation and compression stockings can be helpful but they aren't always practical. Strangers may stare at the stockings and even ask questions while caring friends and family members may feel sorry for someone wearing them and wonder how they can help.
Fortunately, there is an effective solution to these problems. Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment. This vein treatment is the least invasive, involving a skilled physician injecting a substance into the affected veins to cause them to collapse and eventually seal themselves. After they have sealed, they cannot carry blood, but they will also not be visible through the skin. This treatment may work for both spider veins and varicose veins.
The procedure can usually be performed at a vein clinic and the patient can go home the same day with compression stockings. It can take several weeks for the veins to completely collapse and the legs to look normal again. Patients who wear their compression stockings during this time often heal faster. Most of the side effects, including swelling, lumps, matting and bruising, go away on their own in the days and weeks following the procedure.
In some cases, sclerotherapy is not the best treatment for problem veins. For those people, surgery may be the best option. During surgery, the doctor removes the varicose veins through small incisions. With this procedure, there are more risks and patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight to be monitored for signs of blood clots. Like sclerotherapy, it's important for patients to start walking around soon after the procedure to reduce the risk of clotting and promote healing.
Other options, such as laser treatment, may be available to people with spider veins or varicose veins. After any procedure to correct vein problems in the legs, it's important to wear compression stocking as long as the doctor recommends. These stockings promote blood flow through the legs and are available in various strengths. The doctor will advise which strength is ideal so the patient can have them on hand after their treatment. The majority of people who have their problem veins treated with sclerotherapy or surgery experience good results as long as the follow the aftercare instructions provided by their doctor. All complications should be reported right away to ensure they aren't serious.