Spider veins and varicose veins on legs can be unsightly and can make people self-conscious about wearing shorts or skirts. But varicose veins can be more than just a cosmetic concern; they can cause pain, fatigue, heaviness, aching, burning, throbbing, itching, cramps, swelling and restlessness. Over the years, treatment for these veins has improved. At CosMedics, we perform sclerotherapy for vein treatment in Edmonton.
To learn more about your vein treatment options, call us at (780) 476-4071 to schedule a time to meet with Dr. Rebecca Saunders.
Our specialty is spider veins. They are by far the hardest to treat, and our technicians are a wizard with them.
At CosMedics, cosmetic care and medical care achieve unity and balance. We offer cosmetic procedures that achieve beautiful results without compromising safety or overall health *. You can trust our team to perform your vein treatment.
Vein Treatment Basics
Spider veins are small, superficial veins (primarily on the legs and face) that can appear as single or network of tiny veins visible because of valve dysfunction. Varicose veins are deeper, larger leg veins that are swollen, discoloured and may pose serious health risks.
The Vein Treatment Procedure
To treat spider veins and varicose veins, we use sclerotherapy. This procedure is non-surgical, can be performed right in our office, and requires no general anesthesia. Discomfort is minimal and momentary, a feeling that has been compared to an insect bite at the point of injection.
To do this procedure, we inject a product called sclerodex into the spider or small varicose vein. Immediately following the injections, the patient wears compression stockings that compress these tiny veins. The sclerodex acts as a vein irritant, and with the compression stockings the vein stays collapsed and permanently closes. It can no longer fill with blood, and thus is no longer seen. Circulation will, in many cases, be improved. Blood flow simply reroutes to normal, healthy veins after the spider veins or varicose veins have collapsed.
Immediately after treatment, patients can return to most of their usual activities, although strenuous exercise should be avoided. Some slight and temporary swelling or bruising may occur along the vessel. The spider veins and varicose veins will fade over the course of several weeks after treatment. Following the instructions given after injections are very important for the maximum success of the treatment.
What Can I Expect From Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy requires several treatment sessions, depending on your individual needs. The first consultation is approximately 1 hour, and each subsequent session takes about one half-hour and involves from 5 to 40 injections, according to the size and number of veins. Most patients find the injections minimally uncomfortable – like a pin prick. Bruising is normal and will fade in 2-3 weeks. There is no need for time off work and moderate exercise is encouraged following treatment. *
Occasionally, a brownish pigmentation may develop in the skin overlying a treated vein. This gradually fades over a period of several months, but in unusual instances, some discolouration remains. There are several rare but potentially serious complications. As with the use of any medication, allergic reactions can occur, ranging from a slight rash or itch to a severe systemic reaction *. Risks will be explained during your informed consent prior to the procedure.
Your First Visit
You will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about your problem and your general health history. Following this, the nurse will review your medical history with you and obtain your blood pressure and leg measurements. A colour flow duplex ultrasound assessment may be arranged to provide a detailed map of your venous function and anatomy.Finally, the diagnosis of your problem will be reviewed with you and your treatment plan will be discussed.
How Will the Blood Circulate?
Many patients ask how the blood will get back to the heart after the veins have been closed by sclerotherapy. In fact, 90% of our blood return is handled by the deep venous system, which is never treated. Only the superficial veins, which carry 10% of the blood, can become varicosed. Moreover, varicose veins are not functioning properly so the blood has already found other veins to circulate through.
Helpful Hints for Treatment:
- Avoid aspirin for one week to reduce bruising.
- Do not wax or shave your legs the day of treatment.
- Avoid using skin lotion prior to treatment (tape will not stick).
- Remember to bring your compression stockings.
- Re-schedule if ill with fever.
- Must avoid injections for two week period prior to extended or air vacation or travel.
- Eat regular meals to prevent feeling faint.
- Wear support hose (or tensor) for 5 to 7 days.
- Walk for 10 minutes immediately following the injections.
- Walk or exercise regularly between treatments but avoid high impact exercise, straining or weight lifting for days.
- Elevate your legs for 10 minutes following the injections before getting off the treatment table.
- If legs are uncomfortable, walk for 20 minutes, then elevate.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
- Avoid sun tanning and hot baths or showers in the week after treatment.
- Apply ice to lumpy, healing veins if tender.
- If you have concerns, including pain, swelling, rash or hives call the office.
Many patients are pleased to discover that not only do their legs look better, but they feel better too *. Our patients are often surprised to realize how much their legs were bothering them in retrospect, once their veins were treated.