Sclerotherapy laser treatment is a medical laser procedure that is commonly used to eliminate veins – commonly spider veins and varicose veins.
More than half of all adult women have some sort of visible veins, which can lead to embarrassment and poor body image. These veins are often noticeable as red, purple or blue lines on the ankles, calves and thighs. The exact cause of spider veins are unknown but they are commonly believed to be a result of sitting or standing for long periods of time, pregnancy and other hormonal changes, eight gain, aging and heredity. Women experience spider veins more often but they commonly affect men as well. Spider veins are intact veins that have become stretched or dilated. It is important to know that these veins are not essential to health, although they are connected to the venous system, and may safely be removed through sclerotherapy laser treatments.
Sclerotherapy targets varicose veins and spider veins with laser light, leaving the surface skin unharmed. The blood in these veins is what is visible through the skin that we recognize as veins. Blood absorbs the heat of the laser and veins begin the process of coagulation – the affected veins are broken down and are then reabsorbed by the body.
Laser sclerotherapy, or laser vein removal consists of a series of treatments that can each be completed in as little as 30 minutes. There is no down time and patients report very little discomfort during treatments.
A doctor will carefully go through a patient’s complete medical history prior to sclerotherapy to assess whether or not each patient is a good candidate. Patients should notify the doctor about any correlation between physical activity and exacerbation of veins, this could indicate other problems that may need to be addressed before sclerotherapy. Doctors often use duplex ultrasound to check for a condition called saphenous vein insufficiency, which is a common cause for varicose vein formation. After a consultation a doctor will help patient decide if laser sclerotherapy is an appropriate solution for each patient. Laser sclerotherapy is a low-risk procedure, but should always and only be performed by a trained physician.