Spider Veins and Varicose Veins Treatment

We offer free consultation to meet your expectation

In order to make sure that you are a candidate for our spider vein treatment, and to meet your expectations, we encourage you to first book an appointment for a complimentary consultation. This way, we are educated and able to explore your options prior to purchasing any packages or specials for the sclerotherapy treatment offered. During your initial consultation, Dr. Parvin Shafa will examine your leg veins and the following questions/concerns will be addressed:

  • Determine if you are a candidate for sclerotherapy
  • How many syringes per session you will need
  • Frequency of treatments needed to reach our goal
  • You will be informed about expected result
  • You will be educated regarding alternative treatments if sclerotherapy is not the best option to treat your unsightly or annoying veins.
  • Risk and benefit of difference type of treatments will be discussed as well

Please feel free to call our office to schedule a free consultation or send us an email if you have any questions.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are clusters of tiny blood vessels that develop close to the surface of the skin. They usually are dark blue or purplish in color. The superficial veins can look twisted, slightly bulging or in a cluster forming a patch of discoloration. Predominant locations for spider veins are the lower extremities around the ankles, calf and thighs. Untreated spider veins will increase in number and size with time and can even start hurting over years.

Spider Veins Removal Procedure

Below is a short clip of Dr. Parvin Shafa performing the spider veins removal procedure. Call our office in Irvine, Orange County or use the form below to book a consultation.

There is a different type of vein called varicose that appears bigger and can cause cramping. Varicose veins are a little more difficult to treat considering the difference in size and location, but sclerotherapy which is used for spider veins can also be done on the smaller varicose veins. Dr. Parvin Shafa is a dermatologist in Irvine, Orange County who has an extensive and proven expertise in treating both spider and varicose veins.

How effective is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the most effective and the least invasive procedure to treat spider veins. It has been the primary treatment for small and medium vessel varicose veins for over 150 years. When sclerotherapy treatment is done on the spider veins, it improves the cosmetic appearance of the unsightly lower extremities veins and also helps to relieve some associated symptoms with spider veins such as aching, swelling and night cramps.

How is the sclerotherapy performed?

Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a medical agent, "sclerosant" into each affected vein, causing the vein to collapse and gradually fade from view. The most common sclerosants that are injected, are hypertonic saline or a foam type product called Asclera. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive office based procedure with no anesthesia involved.

What are the risks associated with spider vein injection?

The risks associated with spider vein treatments are minimal, such as mild discomfort and occasional cramping of the leg during the injection. This cramping is usually well controlled with icing before and after procedure. You will be informed in detail about the risks and benefits of sclerotherapy during your complimentary consultation in the office.

What is the expected result?

In general after each sclerotherapy treatment, we expect 30 percent improvement on the treated area, and with 3 treatments an individual will expect 90 percent improvement on the area treated. Please keep in mind that with each individual it will vary the amount of improvement that each person will receive.

Why do we develop spider veins?

As our heart’s primary function is to pump blood filled with oxygen and nutrients throughout our whole bodies, it is the veins’ job to carry the blood from the body back to the heart. The veins in our bodies have valves that act as a one-way flap in order to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. When the valves become weak, blood can possibly leak back into the veins and collect there, therefore creating varicose and spider veins.

What contributes to forming spider veins?

There are a number of factors that increase an individual’s chances to getting spider veins.These factors include:

  1. Heredity/Genetics
  2. Age - Over a lifetime the elasticity of vascular is diminished, subcutaneous fat covering veins is uneven and thinner, and leaking vein valves is more common, all contributes to creation of varicose and spider veins
  3. Gender - due to certain hormones and pregnancy, women have a higher chance of developing spider and varicose veins.
  4. Occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as nurses, hairstylists, teachers and factory workers.
  5. Obesity
  6. Excessive amount of sun exposure
  7. Hormonal influences of pregnancy, puberty, menopause, as well as birth control pills
  8. Postmenopausal hormonal replacement
  9. Having a history of blood clots
  10. Conditions that cause increased pressure in abdomen, such as tumors, constipation, and externally worn garments like girdles.

Is this a common problem?

Yes, spider veins are a common problem. About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40-45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Due to females having high risk factors, their percentage in spider veins is higher. Spider and varicose veins affect half of individuals ages 50 and older.

Signs and symptoms of dysfunctional veins in the lower extremities

Spider and varicose veins can often be seen like bluish streaks later bulging out on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:

  • Aching pain that may get worse after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Throbbing or cramping
  • Heaviness
  • Swelling
  • Rash that’s itchy or irritated
  • Darkening of the skin (in severe cases)
  • Restless legs
  • Stasis dermatitis or non-healing ulcer on the legs

Pre- Sclerotherapy treatment instruction:

Avoid taking any optional blood thinner the week prior to the sclerotherapy. Being on blood thinner prior to sclerotherapy will increase bleeding during the procedure and you may experience larger and longer lasting bruising after the procedure.
Examples of optional blood thinner are: aspirin, fish oil, Advil (motrin) naprosyn, aleve (naproxen).
If you are on any blood thinner such as aspirin, plavix, coumadin, Xeralto or others for a medical reason, do not stop without consulting Dr. Shafa about it.
To control the discomfort after the procedure you may take tylenol. The day after procedure you may add Advil or aleve to control the discomfort if needed.
*Please come in loose pants, shorts or a skirt that will be easy to slip into after procedure is completed. As a reminder, your legs treated will be wrapped in ace bandages.

What to expect during the procedure

During the procedure you may feel a few seconds of discomfort and tingling. Occasionally leg cramping can occur (for less than one minute) only if a large area of spider vein is treated.

What to expect immediately after the procedure

  1. You may experience some discomfort, tenderness at the site of injection within the first 24 hours after procedure.
  2. Bruising at the site of needle inserted into the skin is common.
  3. You may also develop a red streak or blotching over treated areas. These red streaks are normal, expected and serve as a temporary reaction to the treatment.
  4. Other possible immediate symptoms after treatment may include itching, throbbing, fullness and swelling.
  5. “Trapped blood” in some of the treated veins or at the site of needle insertion to the skin may develop, usually visible within a few days following the procedure. This occurs when the blood gets caught inside the vein as it heals. This area may feel “lumpy” and tender to the touch. This is an expected side effect with sclerotherapy. If it involves one to two millimeter area, it will be absorbed and resolve over time, however larger trapped blood in the treated veins can be easily treated and removed within 2-4 days after the treatment. You are welcome to come in for a complimentary after procedure evaluation and treatment if it is needed.

*These symptoms will be most notable when you get up and may peak 24 hours following a treatment. In order to minimize the associated discomfort after the treatment, icing of the inflamed treated area is very much helpful and encouraged.

Post sclerotherapy treatment instruction:

  1. After sclerotherapy you will be able to carry on with your normal daily activity and lifestyle.
  2. Soon after the treatment a 5-10 minute walk is advisable
  3. Leave on the ace bandage provided in the office, or your own compression stocking during walking and standing for one week after the procedure.
  4. It is not necessary to wear the stocking or compression bandage in bed
  5. Keep your legs elevated as much as possible during the healing episode and to help prevent worsening of the varicose vein.
  6. Avoid taking a long or hot shower, heavy duty activities such as brisk walking, running or aerobic exercise for 5-7 days after sclerotherapy.
  7. Avoid sun exposure to the site of treated and inflamed area to minimize PIH (post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation).

How to to decrease the chance of developing or recurrence of spider vein?

Life style changes:

  1. Regular exercise not only makes the bone structure stronger but also improves the muscle and skin health by better circulation.
  2. Weight loss decreases Lower extremities pressure and Varicose vein
  3. Keep legs elevated as much as possible. Such as use of recliner on your free time then sitting at desk
  4. Wear support stockings as frequent as possible.The properly fitted stocking can temporarily reverse the effect of vein disease and lessen the discomfort as well as skin damage.