Memphis Vein Center

Spider Veins

spidervein-01 Treatment of Spider Veins with Laser
spidervein-02 Treatment of Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy

Spider veins are tiny purple or red blood vessels located in the skin of the leg near the surface. They appear as tiny branching lines that, at times, can resemble a spider's web, thus the name. Spider veins are not varicose veins. They medically known as telangiectasia are dilated capillary veins less than 2 mm. in diameter. They are usually visible on the legs but sometimes are visible around the nose and lips and are commonly referred to as "broken veins." While they can ache, burn or itch now and then, but they are usually not symptomatic. Spider veins are not harmful and are simply unsightly.

The cause is largely genetic but can also be due to pregnancy, childbirth, use of birth-control pills, estrogen-replacement therapy, prolonged standing, physical trauma and aging.

While the treatment for varicose veins is endovenous laser/radio frequency ablation (VNUS) the gold standard treatment for spider veins include sclerotherapy with either polidocanol or sotradecol. The solution causes an inflammation in the lining of the vessel, which swells and eventually closes the vein. The treatment is done in our office and requires no anesthesia. Patients report very little, if any, discomfort. After treatment, patients are required to wear medical grade compression stockings for two to three days. Generally, it takes 4-8 weeks for the veins to disappear with optimal results appearing in 4-6 months. Most patients require 3-4 sclerotherapy sessions to achieve full clearance.

The other treatment options for spider veins include radio-frequency ablation, surface laser and saline injections which are not as affective as sclerotherapy. Large spider veins may require foam sclerotherapy and mirco-phelbectomy.

At Memphis Vein Center, treatment for spider veins is individualized for each patient to provide the best possible results.