Spider vein injections (sclerotherapy)
Spider vein injections or sclerotherapy is a treatment that is primarily used to remove small superficial veins and thread veins on the legs. Facial veins are often more successfully treated with laser or IPL.
The larger vessels and varicose veins (if the size is more than 2 mm) can also be injected with the so-called foam sclerotherapy which is another form of sclerotherapy.
How spider vein injections are performed
Sclerotherapy of small superficial spider veins involves injecting a substance that clogs the vessels you want to get rid of. When the flow in the vessels ceases, it causes the vein to collapse and eventually fade away.
Each blood vessel or spider vein is treated with sclerotherapy and most patients will have between 2-4 injection treatments. However, only one injection can be made per session which means that a treatment requires 2-4 visits. A 2-4 month gap is needed between each treatment.
The actual treatment is simple and almost painless as the substance injected into the blood vessels contains an anesthetic. The whole visit takes about 30 minutes.
After thread vein sclerotherapy, it may take up to a month or six months to see the full results. Therefore, it may be a good idea to plan and to receive the treatment in good time, if you want to see results before summer or a holiday trip.
Potential risks and side effects of sclerotherapy
Immediately after a thread vein injection treatment, the treated veins become red and darken, but will eventually fade away. Swelling may be experienced, almost like mosquito bites and discoloration will disappear within a week. Some minor itching and burning can also occur for up to a couple of weeks.
In rare cases, skin hyperpigmentation can occur around the treated area. These tend to fade away with time. However, to reduce the risk of pigmenatin changes you should avoid exercie, sauna, sun bathing the first week after your injection treatment.
Following a thread vein sclerotherapy treatment, it is recommended to use compression stockings for a few weeks time to increase blood circulation and to speed up the healing process.
Some people should avoid thread vein injections
There are some people who should not be treated with sclerotherapy. These include pregnant women or nursing, people with very thin and fragile skin, diabetics and people with swollong legs or increased risk of blood clots.
Anyone who can’t undergo spider vein injections can often choose laser or IPL treatment.
Cost of thread vein sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is usually performed using one vial. The cost of treatment will depend on how many vials are needed. The price for each treatment is approximately £150 – £250 per session. If several veins are treated at the same time the price per blood vessel will be lower.
When choosing the clinic, you should not be too focused on the cost of treatment. Good injection technique and a great treatment planning are namely the key factors for a successful result without side effects.