Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are small dis-colored veins that commonly develop on the upper thighs, calves and ankles. Most people seek treatment of spider veins for cosmetic reasons, though spider veins can occasionally cause aching, heaviness, itching and stinging. Spider veins may also be part of significant varicose vein disease with large varices and venous insufficiency.
Spider veins are often isolated dilated veins, but may be associated with “feeder” veins or larger underlying malfunctioning veins.
Treatment for spider veins begins with complete evaluation of all the veins of the legs including a Doppler ultrasound evaluation of both legs. The spider veins will be assessed to determine if they are isolated dilated veins or associated with “feeder” veins or underlying larger malfunctions veins.
Isolated spider veins are treated with Sclerotherapy. Using an extremely small needle a very small amount of sclerorsant medication is injected into the dilated spider veins. The medication blocks and seals the spider veins which will then disappear over time. There is minimal to negligible pain associated with the injections. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes, and patients may resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.
Spider veins associated with “feeder” veins or underlying larger malfunctioning veins will first need to have these feeding or malfunctioning veins treated using the same techniques used for varicose veins. After the feeding or underlying malfunctioning veins are treated the remaining spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy.