Spider Vein Treatment Los Angeles
Spider vein treatment is one of the most sought-after vein treatments in Los Angeles, California because leg, face, chest spider veins (Telangiectasias) are much more common than bulging varicose veins. Most people who have spider veins will not develop bulging varicose veins. However, most (but not all) patients with varicose veins will also develop spider and blue veins.
Most spider and reticular veins (small blue veins) do not cause symptoms. If untreated, these veins do not cause any significant health problems. Accordingly, spider vein removal is considered cosmetic in nature.
Occasionally, however, leg spider vein clusters and reticular veins may cause significant symptoms like aching, burning sensation and itching, especially at the end of the day, in hot weather, or during the menstrual cycle.
Note that in many patients, vein symptoms do not necessarily correlate with vein size. Sometimes huge bulging veins remain completely without symptoms, whereas a cluster of spider veins may cause significant discomfort.
If untreated, spider veins always get worse over the years, multiplying, branching out, getting thicker and more unsightly. As a consequence, these veins would then take longer to treat and require more treatment sessions. In addition, they would take longer to heal with higher chances of side effects, like pigmentation.
SPIDER VEINS TREATED WITH SCLEROTHERAPY
*Individual results may vary.
Spider Vein Treatment Options
Despite the fact that many ads promise to eradicate spider veins with dietary supplements, vitamins, or topical ointments and creams, sadly, studies to support these claims are scarce. At best, some are only effective to prevent their progression or reduce the discomfort associated with their occurrence.
Although compression therapy brings some alleviation of symptoms, currently the only effective method for getting rid of reticular and spider veins is through their destruction or elimination.
Compression therapy with stockings may provide temporary relief from symptoms associated with leg spider veins. In fact, many people whose jobs require prolonged standing benefit from everyday use of low-pressure compression stockings (10-15mmHg). These stocking, however, would not eliminate any spider/blue veins already present.
High-pressure compression stockings (20-30 mm Hg) may be more effective, and could potentially prevent the formation of new spider veins. However, they are unacceptable by most patients for lifetime use, and scientific evidence on this particular issue is rather soft.
Minimally invasive vein treatments
Except in rare cases, spider and reticular veins are considered dysfunctional veins that allow backward flow and pooling of blood. Eliminating these veins will generally improve the circulation by channeling the venous blood through more efficient routes back into the deep vein system and the heart.
Spider and reticular vein treatments involve the destruction of the veins either by means of a chemical or heat energy. The two main spider vein removal options are sclerotherapy, a procedure involving the destruction of veins by an injected solution into the vein (chemical destruction of veins) and laser vein removal (vein destruction with heat energy).
VeinGogh or VeinWave are two other heat-based techniques for spider vein removal, but work only on the very fine surface spider veins, like the ones on the nose; not for clusters of thicker spider veins or subsurface larger blue veins.
Which Treatment to Choose
Generally speaking, for considerations of effectiveness and safety, sclerotherapy is considered the best treatment option for spider veins and the small blue veins of the leg; whereas, laser and light treatments are ideal for facial vein removal. On the other hand, both sclerotherapy and lasers can effectively and safely treat chest veins of the same type.
Besides the fact that leg spider vein removal with vascular lasers ends up being a lot more painful than a comparable sclerotherapy treatment, lasers are less effective for removing these veins. Following are the characteristics of leg veins that make them unsuitable for laser treatment:
- Due to gravity and direct communication with small feeding arteries, leg spider veins tend to have higher blood pressure in them than chest or facial veins.
- Unlike facial veins, leg spider veins are often present under the skin as an interconnected network of veins of different colors, depths and sizes and these characteristics imply the use of different laser settings.
- Topical lasers may not be able to penetrate deep enough to treat the feeder reticular veins that supply the surface leg spider veins with blood. Note that these veins are absent in the face and failure to treat these feeder veins in the leg is one of the more common reasons for leg spider vein treatment failure.
- A large amount of heat generated during the treatment of veins that are somewhat deep may result in skin burns.
Spider Vein Removal at Nu Vela
Dr. Dishakjian—the experienced phlebologist (vein doctor) and cosmetic surgeon at Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center, will work with you on a one-on-one basis to discuss your symptoms and concerns and will determine the best course of spider vein treatment you may need.
Our vein clinic, Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center, is located in Porter Ranch, CA, and is easily accessible from most Los Angeles freeways. Please click the map on this page for directions.
Your treatment will start after you sign a detailed informed consent form and Dr. Dishakjian takes a set of baseline photographs of your spider veins. These standardized, high-resolution pictures would then serve as a baseline for future reference.
In the follow-up visits, whether you receive additional treatments or not, Dr. R. Dishakjian will carefully monitor your progress ensuring a smooth, rapid healing process and the best possible cosmetically appealing outcome.
Please visit our before and after spider vein sclerotherapy picture gallery to have an idea on the range of veins we treat at our vein clinic and the treatment outcome you can expect.
The Sclerotherapy Procedure
During the treatment session, you will be seated in a comfortable position. Dr. Dishakjian will clean the skin covering the spider veins with a disinfectant. Then, he will use a hand-held device to illuminate the skin from beneath to identify even the smallest spider veins and the underlying feeding reticular veins.
Once Dr. Dishakjian clearly sees the problematic veins, he will use a very fine needle and sequentially inject a sclerosing solution right into the veins. In a few minutes, the injected areas will appear a little swollen, raised, sometimes red or blue, like a bruise.
Transillumination by the hand-held ring device allows the doctor to locate thin veins and deeper feeder veins.
In the hands of experienced vein doctors, such as Dr. Dishakjian, the discomfort of vein treatment by means of sclerotherapy is minimal or at least easily tolerable for the vast majority of patients.
An occasional spot may be more sensitive than others, but generally, the procedure should be well tolerated for most patients; even the needle-phobic ones. In fact, most patients are pleasantly surprised at how little discomfort occurs during spider vein removal with sclerotherapy.
The Laser Vein Removal Session
The large sapphire window of the laser allows the doctor to see the blood vessel response while treating it.
Dr. Dishakjian starts spider vein laser removal with the application of a potent numbing cream on the area to be treated. After 45 minutes, and just before treatment, Dr. Dishakjian removes the cream and covers your eyes with protective goggles. He then starts directing the laser beam on the spider veins until they vanish.
The contact cooling system of the laser, the numbing cream, and the cooling gel that the doctor applies after the treatment minimize the pain and make the procedure tolerable for almost all patients.
SCLEROTHERAPY TREATMENT OF SPIDER VEINS
*Individual results may vary.
Preparing Yourself for Spider Vein Treatment
In the week before your treatment whether sclerotherapy or laser treatment, avoid tanning, avoid taking NSAID medications, vitamin E, or herbal supplements that increase your chances of bruising.
You should also stop the use of photosensitizing medications before having a laser or IPL vein treatment, as these may exaggerate the skin’s response to the treatment.
Don’t shave your legs on the day of the treatment as the solution used for cleansing purposes may cause some stinging. It is also recommended that you bring short pants that you can wear during a leg vein procedure.
SCLEROTHERAPY TREATMENT OF LEG VEINS
*Individual results may vary.
Number of Sessions Required
There is a maximum safe dose for each sclerotherapy solution that can be safely used in a single session, limiting the number of veins that can be treated in a single session.
Most patients need 2-3 sclerotherapy treatment sessions for any given area. Each treatment session resulting in at least 50-60% improvement compared to before. At the end of the process, most patients can expect about 80-90% clearance of spider veins. The remaining veins are often hardly visible except at a close range. The larger blue veins, on the other hand, may need several treatment sessions before they disappear.
As for laser treatment of facial or chest spider veins, not all spider veins may respond to one session. Occasionally, a few additional repeat treatments may be required.
Recurrence of Spider Veins
Once treated effectively either with laser or sclerotherapy, the treated spider veins should not come back. For a lasting leg spider vein treatment, the feeder reticular veins of the leg should be eliminated even before the elimination of superficial spider veins. In addition, any source of venous reflux in the leg should be identified and treated.
Regularly wearing sunscreen on your chest and face may significantly delay the appearance of new spider veins. However, over time, your body will make new spider veins.
Remember, sclerotherapy and laser treatments do not cure this condition. They do not also stop your body’s predisposition to make new spider and blue veins in the future. Accordingly, most patients need to have periodic follow-up leg spider vein treatment sessions to maintain optimal results. The frequency varies from a year to several years.
Insurance Coverage for Reticular and Spider Vein Treatment
Unfortunately, reticular and spider vein treatment, whether with sclerotherapy or vascular lasers is considered cosmetic in nature and the cost, regardless of the technique used, is not covered by insurance plans.
Questions about the Cost or the Treatment?
You may reach our vein center by clicking the “Contact ” button at the top of the page, or by calling 818-832-4500. Our receptionist at the front desk will be delighted to assist you with any inquiries regarding cost, additional information, or scheduling a comprehensive consultation session with Dr. Dishakjian.