Spider veins (telangiectasia) and varicose veins are overly enlarged blood vessels near the surface of the skin. For an explanation of spider veins, click here.

Typical veins have valves that allow the blood to return to the heart while preventing it from backing away. Varicose veins are formed when these valves do not function properly. This most often happens in the legs, and especially the lower legs because, when standing, the leg vein valves are subjected to very high pressure – the hydraulic pressure of the blood above it. These veins can be troublesome: itchy and/or painful, especially when the patient is walking or standing.

Both spider veins and varicose veins can be removed by various methods. Laser therapy has been used for more than twenty years, while sclerotherapy has been used extensively since the 1930s. Very large varicose veins may be best removed by surgery.

In sclerotherapy, the offending blood vessels are injected with a sclerosing solution using a very tiny needle. The solution causes the blood vessel to collapse and, eventually, disappear.

Immediately after treatment, some temporary color change and/or bruising may occur, especially on the legs. The treatment often needs repeating, separating treatments by a month or so.


If you have an appointment for sclerotherapy, talk to us before your appointment about your purchase of support hose, which you should bring with you to your appointment. Our staff will help you put these on after your treatment, and you should wear it for a week after treatment when not sleeping.

For seven days before and 24 hours after your treatment, avoid alcohol, certain medications and herbal supplements that can increase bleeding and bruising.  Avoid aspirin, alcohol, vitamin E, fish oils, gingko, NSAID’s (e.g. Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil), dong quai, echinacea, feverfew, flaxseed oil, garlic, ginger,  ginseng, and papaya.

If you are taking any medications that increase bleeding, such as Warfarin (Coumadin), Plavix, or Heparin, please notify our physicians.  Do not stop taking any prescribed medications unless you have permission from your prescribing doctor.