Leg vein treatments are the procedures that treat spider veins (aka, superficial leg veins) through techniques ranging from minimal to non-invasive. These veins commonly appear on the thighs, calves, or ankles. It’s a common condition among women and men. These unsightly veins are associated with genetics, pregnancy, and occupations that involve prolonged standing. There’s a possibility for complications with spider veins, but they primarily make people feel very self-conscious and can cause plenty of aesthetic and emotional difficulties.
Regardless of the cause, leg vein treatments at our Thousand Oaks practice may be the solution that helps you love the look of your legs.
If you are wondering which vein treatment is right for you, request a consultation with Dr. Azar to discuss the possibilities. Or you can call our office at (805) 373-7073 and one of our knowledgeable, friendly staff members will schedule your appointment.
Spider veins are a condition by which tiny blood vessels widen, causing ropy red and purple lines or patterns on the skin. These patterns happen gradually and in groups. It’s known scientifically as telangiectasia, but they are commonly referred to as spider veins due to their weblike appearance. They can happen to anyone and anywhere on the body, but they are usually found on the legs.
- 1 Types of Leg Vein Treatments
- 2 Benefits of Leg Vein Treatments
- 3 Personal Consultation
- 4 Preparation
- 5 Procedure
- 6 Recovery
- 7 Results
- 8 FAQ
- 9 References
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are caused by unhealthy valves in the feeder veins, causing the blood to flow backward rather than upwards towards the heart. This backed-up blood causes the veins to become non-functional, also known by the term venous reflux. Spider veins appear underneath the skin because of body weight pressure, gravity, and carrying blood from the bottom to the top.
Other contributing factors to consider are:
- Sun/UV exposure
- Hormone changes
Types of Leg Vein Treatments
Laser Vein Treatments
For smaller spider veins ranging in size from 1 mm to 5 mm, laser leg vein treatment is highly effective and safer than injections. The laser used is the Cutera Excel V, an Nd:YAG laser that safely targets the hemoglobin in the veins while protecting the skin. The Excel V delivers pulses of light energy, causing the blood in the vein to coagulate, destroying the vessel, which is later reabsorbed into the body. Penetration depth is high, whereas absorption by melanin is low, making the Nd:YAG laser suitable for treating larger and deeply located veins and treating patients with dark skin types.
It may require more than one treatment to address all of the unwanted veins. Treatments range from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how extensive the veins are.
Laser vein treatment is usually not considered painful but feels like a light rubber band snapping against the skin. Treatments are performed six weeks apart.
A traditional vein treatment that is more economical than lasers and effective for varicose veins of all sizes. Sclerotherapy is a frequently used, low-risk, and highly successful method to treat venous problems.
This simple procedure involves injecting a solution that irritates the veins, ultimately causing them to close off after about 4 to 6 weeks, although experiences vary. Some areas will require more than one injection. Our goal is to significantly reduce the number of these veins by 70% to 80%.
We recommend ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy for the deeper, trickier veins, which allows us to treat veins hidden beneath the skin’s surface.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
The safer, less-invasive alternative to vein stripping for varicose veins. Without making any incisions, a tiny laser catheter is inserted into the vein. After administering local anesthesia, energy is emitted from the catheter to obliterate the vein.
EVLT has about a 98% success rate, with the problem vein usually disappearing within 1 to 2 months following treatment, although experiences vary.
Benefits of Leg Vein Treatments
Leg vein treatments give patients legs that they’re proud to flaunt. Not having to worry about your legs’ appearance can leave you feeling happier, more secure, and hopefully, with a more adventurous wardrobe.
Patients with spider veins and varicose veins tend to cover them in layers of clothing, even during the summer. Leg vein treatments give patients the confidence to wear their shorts and swimsuits.
By feeling more secure in their appearance, patients start showing more interest in going to the gym, sports, and other outdoor physical activities following their leg vein treatments.
Decreased Skin Irritation
Spider veins and varicose veins cause congested blood flow to the skin, which can result in thick, itchy, brownish skin and rashes. Treatments take care of that.
The ideal candidate for leg vein treatment is somebody bothered by the appearance of spider veins on their body. Pregnant women should avoid sclerotherapy.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Azar; then, you can discuss treatment options and the best path forward. For optimal results, be sure to follow any instructions given to you before and after your procedure.
Laser Vein Treatment
Leading up to your procedure, you may be asked to :
- Temporarily stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, herbal supplements, or anti-inflammatory drugs that may increase bleeding.
- Take certain medications or adjust current medications.
You’ll also want to stay hydrated and wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Taking aspirin, herbal supplements, or anti-inflammatory drugs that may increase bleeding.
- Shaving or applying lotion to the legs.
As with laser vein treatments, it’s recommended that you stay hydrated and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
In the week leading up to your EVLT treatment, you will want to avoid:
- Taking blood-thinning medications.
- Taking NSAIDs like Advil or Motrin.
It’s advised patients wait for any skin infections to heal before treatment. Stay hydrated and wear loose-fitting clothing.
Laser Vein Treatment
The procedure involves directing an intense beam of light at the spider vein, destroying it through the skin. Treatments can last 30 minutes to an hour. Multiple sessions may be required. Laser vein treatments may also be combined with sclerotherapy.
During treatment, a sclerosing solution is injected into the spider vein. The injection irritates the vein’s insides, causing it to collapse on itself. Multiple spider veins require multiple injections.
As you lie down comfortably, an ultrasound will be used to guide the procedure. Your leg will then be injected with a numbing agent. Next, a needle makes a tiny puncture in the vein, then the catheter containing the laser is inserted. Once in place, the catheter is slowly drawn back. As the laser emits heat, the vein gets closed off. Once finished, the catheter is removed, and pressure is applied to the treated area. Afterward, a compression stocking or bandage will be put on.
Laser Vein Treatment
Immediately after treatment, your spider veins will be redder and more visible, but they will fade after two to six weeks. Initial redness and swelling should die down within a few days.
After injections are complete, the legs may be dressed in either compressive tape, stocking, or an elastic ACE bandage. The treated area will have some bruising that will fade over time.
Recovery time is minimal and pain-free. Walking is encouraged, but strenuous physical activity should be avoided for two to three weeks following your procedure. Any bruising or discomfort should fade after two to four weeks.
Leg vein treatments from Azar Plastic Surgery & Med Spa leave the legs feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the outside world. Patients enter the world feeling more confident and secure in their appearance. Like what you’ve read so far? Click through our blog to find out more about procedures, events, articles, advice, and more.
What are leg vein treatments?
Leg vein treatments are treatment options ranging from minimal to non-invasive that eliminate the presence of spider veins. Options include:
Laser Vein Treatments
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
What are spider veins?
Spider veins result from tiny blood cells widening. This causes ropy, reddish bunches of veins that look like a spider’s web to appear underneath the skin.
How common are spider veins?
Spider veins are relatively common and affect up to 50% of the adult population. Women tend to develop them more than men, most likely due to hormones.
What’s the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?
Varicose veins are darker and more dilated and can become dangerous if left untreated.
Spider veins are smaller and thinner bluish or reddish veins on the skin. They are virtually painless and can show up in many places like on legs, behind the knees in young athletes, and on the face.
What they both have in common is their underlying cause: circulation issues. The main offender is increased pressure on the veins and blood vessels, which now have to work harder to circulate blood through the body.
Do leg vein treatments hurt?
There is usually mild to minimal discomfort during leg vein treatments.
For laser vein treatment, it feels like a light rubber band snapping on the skin.
For sclerotherapy, chemical injections are required, so it’s not entirely painless.
For EVLT, there is little to no pain. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area.
- Meesters, A.A., Pitassi, L.H.U., Campos, V. et al. Transcutaneous laser treatment of leg veins. Lasers Med Sci 29, 481–492 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-013-1483-2
- Watson, J. J., MD, RPVI, & Mansour, M. A., MD, RPVI, FACS. (2017). Cosmetic sclerotherapy. Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders, 5(3), 437-445. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2017.02.002