Spring Cleaning, Why Not Clean Out the Spider Veins Too?
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On April 5, 2012
Last modified:July 24, 2012


I would like to thank you for making my legs feel so good. In fact, I don’t remember they ever felt like this before: light and capable of moving all day without draining my energy.

The majority of the patients at our Vein Therapy Clinic are recommended sclerotherapy as a form of treatment for their spider veins.  Sclerotherapy is considered the “gold standard” for spider vein treatment.  It is an injection into the diseased veins with a solution to begin a process whereby the vein will be naturally absorbed by the body.  People who have spider veins caused by venous disease know well enough that they will need maintenance treatments after their initial round of treatments to clean up newly formed veins.  Venous disease is chronic and there isn’t a cure, but with great advances in medicine there are in-office procedures that minimize downtime.

Many of our first-time patients who have been treated before at other clinics question the effectiveness of sclerotherapy since they got poor results or the problem worsened. This is usually due to not diagnosing correctly the cause of the veins.  What you see on the surface is only the tip of the iceberg.

For instance, we had a patient come to us for vein treatment.  This person had been treated with sclerotherapy many times in the past from a few different clinics.  They stated that they hadn’t seen results from the treatment and was aware this was the only treatment option for them.  The main concern for this patient was the cost of the treatment.  As someone who understands the financial constraints of these economic times I understood this patient’s concern but what really concerned me was more medical.  Where had they been treated?  What types of medications were used in the treatment?  Did they have underlying causes of the spider veins?  Do they have medical conditions such as a heart defect, coagulation disorders or allergies that would contraindicate the treatment?

How many times have you gone to the doctor and had to get further testing for something with ultrasound imaging?  I have experienced this 3 times in my 29 years.  Each time a technician did the initial ultrasound and they had to bring in the doctor to make the conclusion, due to a lack of understanding by the technician.  It’s better when the treating physician/radiologist simply does the ultrasound.  When seeking out vein treatments find a clinic where the physician does the ultrasound.

In nearly 100% of spider vein cases, we see that they actually have deeper vein issues causing the problem that has not been treated.  Ineffective diagnosing, untrained technicians, and taking short cuts in treatment plans are the cause of many misdiagnosed varicose veins.  In most cases, saline sclerotherapy and laser treatments will not effectively treat leg veins.

Sclerotherapy is best administered utilizing a pharmaceutical sclerosing agent, which can be foamed for better results.  Utilizing ultrasound guidance enables the treatment of larger, deeper veins previously treated by surgery.  Remember there are no guarantees in health care and each person reacts differently to treatment.  Roughly 10% of all Sclerotherapy cases result in fair to poor results, which means the vein did not completely close or a closed vein reopened after the initial treatments.  If that’s the case, other methods are utilized.

One of the reasons purchasing sclerotherapy treatments through online purchasing, like Groupon, is a bad idea is because you don’t even know if you’re a candidate for sclerotherapy and it is usually offered by centers without the necessary training or experience.

Always remember your 5 W’s when entering into a new situation.

  • Who will be treating me?
  • Where does the problem originate from?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • When will the veins be gone?
  • Why do I need this?