What causes spider veins?
What is the sclerotherapy procedure like?
What is it like after sclerotherapy?
How much will it cost for sclerotherapy?
What are the complications with sclerotherapy?
What are my limitations after sclerotherapy?
What is the stab phlebectomy/light-assisted stab phlebectomy procedure like?
What is it like after the stab phlebectomy procedure?
Will my insurance cover the treatment?
Spider veins are caused by similar factors that cause varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. These factors include:
The first three factors account for most of the causes of spider veins. Keep in mind that there may be primary and contributing factors to spider veins, and that these factors may not contribute equally to the vein conditions in different individuals.
Sclerotherapy can enhance your appearance and your self confidence, but it's unrealistic to believe that every affected vein will disappear completely as a result of treatment. After each sclerotherapy session, the veins will appear lighter. Two or more sessions are usually required to achieve optimal results.
You should also be aware that the procedure treats only those veins that are currently visible; it does nothing to permanently alter the venous system or prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.
Before you decide to have sclerotherapy, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your doctor.
In addition to the compression tape applied during the procedure, tight-fitting support hose may be prescribed to guard against blood clots and to promote healing. The tape and cotton balls can be removed after 48 hours. However, you may be instructed to wear the support hose for 72 hours or more.
It's not uncommon to experience some cramping in the legs for the first day or two after the injections. This temporary problem usually doesn't require medication.
You should be aware that your treated veins will look worse before they begin to look better. When the compression dressings are removed, you will notice bruising and reddish areas at the injection sites. The bruises will diminish within one month. In many cases, there may be some residual brownish pigmentation which may take up to a year to completely fade.
The procedure costs $400 for 5 cc of solution or $150 for 2 cc. If you do not have stockings, the cost of the stockings is around $79 for each stocking.
(The cost of stockings for both legs would be $158; this charge is approximate and depends upon where the stockings are purchased.)
In most cases, the pain, discomfort and swelling associated with the veins disappears within days, and the vessels slowly resolve over several months. Serious complications following sclerotherapy are rare.
Patients are usually able to return to normal daytime activities immediately after sclerotherapy. They should walk for at least 30 minutes a day, especially for the first few days following the procedure. Vigorous physical activities such as weight lifting or aerobics classes are not advised during this time.
Stab phlebectomy is a method of removing varicose veins on the surface of the legs. This procedure can be done in the office under local anesthesia. This procedure involves making tiny punctures or incisions through which the varicose veins are removed. The incisions are so small no stitches are required. Veins are very collapsible such that even large veins may be removed through the tiny incisions used in this technique. The patient is able to walk following the procedure.
With this technique, the surgeon makes a tiny incision near the varicose veins and threads a slender tube with a light source at its tip underneath the vein cluster. A mixture of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine is infused int the area, providing a further anesthetic and "plumps up" the veins so that they are easily visible. The lights of the operating room are turned off so that the surgeon can see the veins illuminated under the skin. The surgeon then makes a very small incision immediately adjacent to a varicose vein. Taking a size 7 crochet hook that has been filed down and modified for the procedure, the surgeon passes it through the incision, hooks a vein and pulls it through the opening. After turning on the operating-room lights, the surgeon assesses the vein, sets the crochet hook aside and grasps the vein at its base with a tiny mosquito clamp. Using a gentle circular mostion, the surgeon dislodges the vein from the skin. Further incisions are made to remove remianing veins.
The empty vein channels are then flushed with solution to help collapse them and prevent bruising and hematomas from any residual blood remaining in the channels. No sutures are used; this allows for continued drainage if needed. A compression dressing is applied to the affected area, and within an hour, the patient goes home with instructions to elevate the leg for 48 hours. The resulting scars look like small freckles.
After treatment, compression bandages and/or compression stockings are worn. Your physician will advise you how long to wear any bandages or hose. Many physicians recommend that you walk or bike after treatment. This reduces pressure in the veins, increases the flow in the veins and reduces the risk of forming a blood clot.
Most medical insurances and even Medicare will cover the cost of the surgery. Pre-authorizations will be obtained by the office; preauthorization does not guarantee payments. Payment is determined at the time the claim is submitted for medical necessity by your medical insurance. Please be sure to check if this is a covered benefit under your policy. If the surgery is done purely for cosmetic purposes, the cost of the procedure is usually not covered by insurances. Please call 310-825-4357 for more information regarding the cost of the procedure.