Do you suffer from unsightly spider veins or painful, bulging varicose veins? Today, it’s quite easy to get rid of those problematic veins. Sclerotherapy and Endovenous laser ablation are two minimally invasive procedures that are less painful and offer a far shorter recovery period than with traditional vein removal methods. We’ll go over the general concept behind these two treatment options, as well as what can be expected during the recovery process.

Treatments for Large and Small Veins

Endovenous laser ablation is used on larger varicose veins, while sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins and tiny varicose veins. With the endovenous laser ablation method, a laser is used to apply heat to the varicose vein. The resulting scar tissue closes the vein off from its blood source, causing it to die off and gradually disappear. Radio frequency ablation can also be used to achieve a similar result.

Sclerotherapy is used as a secondary treatment following laser ablation for larger veins, and a primary treatment for tiny varicose veins and spider veins. An injection of hypertonic saline causes the vessel walls to swell, and is followed up with a laser treatment which heats the weakened walls. The vessel walls collapse and disappear.

Temporary Restrictions and Side Effects Following Treatment

Non-strenuous walking and compression stockings are encouraged following treatment. Avoid rigorous exercise for a week or two. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory meds and applying heat to the treated area (e.g., direct sunlight, hot showers, hot tubs) for the next 48 hours after treatment.

It is not unusual to experience mild itching, swelling, redness, and bruising around the treated area. The itching and swelling should subside in a couple of days, while bruising may take a week or more to fade. Larger veins may feel hard and lumpy at first, but will gradually fade and dissolve within a few months following treatment. If you experience any unusual symptoms besides the ones mentioned above, contact the clinic right away.

With minimally invasive treatment methods available today, no one has to live with painful and embarrassing varicose veins and spider veins.

Sources and Further Reading:

Skin Problems & Treatment Health Center – Varicose Veins and Spider Veins, http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/laser-treatment-for-varicose-veins (February 12, 2014).

Skin Problems & Treatment Health Center – Sclerotherapy for Varicose and Spider Veins, http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cosmetic-procedures-sclerotherapy (February 12, 2014).

Endovenous Ablation, http://www.dukehealth.org/services/vein_clinic/treatments/endovenous_ablation (February 12, 2014).