Are you bothered by fine red spider veins or broken capillaries on your face? Have you noticed bulging veins on your legs, hands or feet? These can happen as we age or as the result of certain medical conditions. The underlying cause of your vein issues determines what sort of treatment is best for you. For many patients, a simple cosmetic procedure can greatly reduce or even eliminate the appearance of spider veins and some smaller bulging veins.
For some patients, however, the presence of small surface veins may indicate the presence of deeper, more significant vein problems. This might include worsening varicose veins, skin ulcerations or even spontaneous bleeding from a vein. These are serious medical conditions that require more intense diagnosis and treatment. It is important to be aware of this distinction, because many women and men have undiagnosed circulatory problems.
Here at Southern Surgical Arts, we do not perform any spider vein treatments on the legs without first performing an ultrasound exam. Ultrasound technology can “see” beneath the skin’s surface, enabling us to determine if your spider veins are purely a cosmetic issue or if there is a greater problem. If we discover a significant medical issue, we will help you address that first at our Vein Institute. Often patients find that treating the cause of spider veins eliminates the unwanted negative cosmetic side-effects, too.
We treat spider veins on delicate facial skin using either transdermal laser or radio frequency therapy. Treatment sessions take just 20-30 minutes. You will see improvement after the first session, but we usually recommend, on average, a series of 2-4 treatments depending on your aesthetic goals. Treatments are generally spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
To treat bulging veins on the hands and feet, we may offer several different techniques to improve appearance of these veins. We may offer sclerotherapy, micro-phlebectomy or endovenous thermal ablation techniques depending on the size of the veins and your goals. Sometimes we use a combination of these techniques to effect a better outcome. The goal of each of these techniques is the same…to damage the target vein or veins so the body will no longer be able to use it. Sclerotherapy works by injecting a sclerosant solution directly into the section of vein being treated. The damaged vein collapses, and the blood then finds another route to flow back to the heart. Your body will break down and dissolve or reabsorb the collapsed vein over time, so it will disappear. Endovenous thermal ablation techniques are similar in that the vein wall is destroyed but instead of using a sclerosant, heat energy is used to damage the vein wall. Once the vein wall is damaged the process of vein elimination usually takes a few weeks, but you may not see final results for several months or longer. Sclerotherapy and other ablation techniques on the back of the hand usually takes 30-45 minutes per hand.
These procedures are designed to produce cosmetic improvement, not to treat underlying vein disease. Because they are minimally invasive, they require no general anesthesia, and there is little to no downtime.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Almost everybody is a good candidate for cosmetic vein treatment. Although most of the patients we see are between 40 and 60 years of age, we have treated patients in their late teens and patients in their 90s. Although most patients are candidates for treatment some medical conditions may exclude safe treatment and that is why we individualized each patients treatment plan. Throughout the years we have found that patients are highly satisfied with the results of cosmetic vein treatment.
We invite you in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Gardner. Together, we’ll explore your aesthetic goals and work toward revealing your own natural beauty.