Are you unhappy with the appearance of spider veins and/or varicose veins on your legs? Do they keep you from wearing shorts or short skirts? Do they make you avoid days at the beach or hide under a towel wrapped around your legs at the pool? It’s hard to prevent varicose veins and spider veins, especially if you have a family history of them. Fortunately, unwanted leg veins can be treated.
Although there are other options for getting rid of these unwanted leg veins, sclerotherapy is the most proven and commonly requested vein treatment. Dr. Michelle Reyes offers sclerotherapy at The Med Spot, drawing people from Calabasas, Tarzana, Hidden Hills, and across the Valley. If you want to learn whether sclerotherapy is right for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michelle Reyes at The Med Spot in Woodland Hills.
Sclerotherapy is a common approach to treating varicose and spider veins. Since the 1930s, it’s been recognized as a powerful, effective treatment for these conditions when they are a simple cosmetic concern.
In sclerotherapy, a solution is injected into a vein, causing it to close up. The vein collapses and the blood inside it clots. Over time, the vein then disappears, and the body absorbs the material from the damaged vein. The body grows new veins to replace the ones that are closed.
At The Med Spot in Woodland Hills, Dr. Michelle Reyes uses Asclera for sclerotherapy. Asclera is a relatively new sclerotherapy treatment in the U.S. It was approved by the FDA in 2010. However, the solution has been used safely in Europe for more than 50 years.
Asclera works in a similar way to other sclerotherapy solutions. However, Asclera includes an anesthetic that reduces discomfort from the injection and its effects. The most common side effect of the injection is temporary bruising at the injection site. During your consultation, we can talk to you about potential risks and how to watch for rare complications.
Multiple veins can be treated at the same time, depending on how many veins you have in the area and how large they are. The treatment is generally very fast, taking about 15-30 minutes. You don’t have to take time off, and you can resume most of your daily activities. You should walk a bit to keep the blood flowing, but don’t engage in vigorous aerobic exercise. We recommend you wear compression socks at your first treatment to help encourage blood flow from the treated area back to your heart.
It usually takes multiple treatments to inject all the varicose veins and spider veins into an area. How many treatments you need depends on how many veins you want to get rid of. The amount of time it takes for veins to disappear after your last treatment depends on the size of the veins. It might take a few weeks to a few months for veins to disappear.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for what doctors describe as “uncomplicated” varicose veins and also for spider veins. Both these types of veins are caused by a condition known as venous insufficiency. Normally, veins are supposed to direct the blood back to the heart by using valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. However, age, stress, and other medical conditions can damage the one-way flow valves, causing blood to pool in the veins.
Spider veins are usually small enough that they readily respond to sclerotherapy, disappearing in a few weeks after treatment. There are also a few concerns about complications with spider veins.
Varicose veins can be many different types of veins impacted by venous insufficiency. Asclera is recommended to treat the smaller varicose veins, called feeder veins or reticular veins. These veins are initially up to 3 mm (about 1/8 inch) in diameter. However, they can swell as a result of the blood pooling. Other treatment options are also available for the treatment of various veins
Sclerotherapy is one of the most commonly used treatments for varicose veins and spider veins. It’s been used for about 90 years, proving the safety and effectiveness of the approach. However, there are other approaches to treating varicose veins.
These treatments have some advantages when compared to sclerotherapy, but also some drawbacks. Different options will be discussed when you talk to Dr. Michelle Reyes and The Med Spot Team. The treatment decision will be made based on an evaluation with you about your varicose veins or spider veins. Dr. Michelle Reyes will help you decide which is the best approach for you.
The Vbeam Perfecta is a laser treatment for spider veins and varicose veins, as well as more than a dozen other conditions. The Vbeam Perfecta is a pulsed dye laser (PDL) that emits a yellow-orange light that is highly absorbed by hemoglobin. Remember, the color something looks like is the light it reflects, not the light it absorbs. This means that purple, blue, and even red varicose veins and spider veins absorb a lot of light in the yellow-orange area.
The color is also good for penetrating your tissue without causing it to heat up too much. The Vbeam also includes the Dynamic Cooling Device™ (DCD™) technology. This computer-controlled cooling technology helps balance the heat from the laser treatment to keep the skin cool so treatment can proceed without delay.
When the targeted veins absorb laser energy, they break down. As with sclerotherapy, the body will then absorb the damaged veins and replace them with new veins.
However, dark skin absorbs more of the laser energy, which means people with dark skin aren’t good candidates for Vbeam treatment.
Vbeam treatment doesn’t penetrate deeply into the skin, so it often doesn’t give as good of results treating blue varicose veins. That’s because these veins are usually deeper in the body, where Vbeam can’t reach them.
Like sclerotherapy, Vbeam Perfecta treatment requires multiple sessions to achieve optimal results. Some benefit from just one treatment, but optimal results take 2 to 5 sessions.
GentleMax Pro is another laser option for treating varicose veins and spider veins. It has two different lasers, a red laser, and an infrared laser. These lasers can penetrate more deeply into the tissues, making them an ideal choice for blue varicose veins and spider veins. They also don’t affect people with dark skin as much, which makes the GentleMax Pro a good choice for people with dark skin. Other than the color difference, the GentleMax Pro lasers function on the same principles as the Vbeam. GentleMax Pro also uses DCD technology to help avoid tissue heating and burns. This helps the laser treat relatively large varicose veins quickly without a high risk of complications.
In both the above laser varicose vein treatments, one of the limitations is penetrating the tissue around the vein. To get past this, you can get endovenous treatment. In this procedure, a surgeon cuts a hole in the vein. Then a laser or radiofrequency emitter is inserted into the vein to burn it from the inside.
In some cases, varicose veins are too large to treat with either sclerotherapy or lasers. Often, varicose veins that are large, swollen, and painful need surgery. For some small-to-medium varicose veins, a surgeon might perform a phlebectomy. In this procedure, small cuts are made, and the vein is pulled out as much as possible, then removed in sections.
The other surgical procedure used for varicose veins is vein ligation and stripping. Using a cut in the groin area, the surgeon will close the vein with a clamp or tie. Then a wire is inserted through the vein. A second incision is used to place a large-cap at the other end of the vein (often at the knee). This cap secures the wire so the surgeon can pull out the vein.
Success rates for the surgery are good, not great: about 80% of people experience relief of symptoms, and complication rates are generally higher than other approaches to treating varicose veins. However, surgery is often the only way to effectively deal with large varicose veins.
If you are looking to eliminate varicose veins or spider veins with minimally invasive sclerotherapy, The Med Spot in Woodland Hills is a great choice. Since 1997, Dr. Michelle Reyes has been helping patients in the Calabasas area of the Valley live a better life. Now she not only offers a wide range of cosmetic treatments but offers healthy aging support. She uses the latest techniques and technologies and has assembled a highly skilled team that shares her compassionate, gentle approach.
Dr. Michelle Reyes and her team have worked hard to make The Med Spot a comfortable, safe space where everyone is welcome. Questions are always welcome, and you are in control of your treatment. Our job is to advise and put our skills at your service when we feel we can help you achieve your best life.
To learn whether sclerotherapy is the right way for you to treat your varicose or spider veins, please call 818-201-2830 or use our form to contact Dr. Michelle Reyes at The Med Spot today for a consultation.