Unwanted Surface Veins
The presence of unwanted surface veins is a common concern for many of our patients at Hogue Vein Institute. These visibly prominent red or blue blood vessels cause aesthetic or cosmetic concerns and may be present on the legs, pelvis area, breasts, and face. They may or may not be associated with symptoms such as aching, itching, burning, and pain. The size and location of the veins in the skin determine whether they are small superficial dilated blood vessels or blush veins manifesting as redness (as with rosacea), or abnormally dilated visibly traceable red or blue blood vessels, known as spider veins. Spider veins emanate from larger, deeper feeder veins in the skin that appear blue or black, known as reticular veins.
Treatment methods for cosmetic veins at Hogue Vein include injection Sclerotherapy and transdermal laser or light therapy. Injection Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for treatment of spider veins and reticular veins. Transdermal laser or broadband light (BBL) therapy is reserved for treatment of capillary hemangiomas, venous lakes, vessels too small to inject with Sclerotherapy, rosacea, and tiny blush veins. Laser and BBL work by using heat to damage the lining of the veins causing them to shrink and become smaller.
As a professional vein center, Hogue Vein Institute advises its patients with purely cosmetic leg vein concerns to initially have a FREE Vein Screening. This is done to ensure patient safety and to evaluate the patient’s leg veins to determine if cosmetic vein treatment is appropriate. Sometimes, a patient does not have a history of varicose veins or signs or symptoms of such, yet the vein screening identifies an underlying medical vein condition.
At Hogue Vein Institute, spider veins and reticular veins are treated using proven injection Sclerotherapy techniques. Sclerotherapy is a procedure where tiny injections are made into the veins. Our experienced vein specialists at Hogue Vein use the FDA approved sclerosing agent Asclera®, also known as polidocanol, which allows for a comfortable treatment session since the solution is not painful. Polidocanol was originally developed as a local anesthetic agent. When injected into the vein, polidocanol causes fibrosis of the vein, occludes and shrinks the vein lumen, and thereby reduces its appearance in the skin. An injection Sclerotherapy treatment session for the legs takes under 30 minutes to perform. Multiple sessions are often needed at 1-3 month treatment intervals to achieve noticeable cosmetic results. Medical grade compression stockings are usually worn for several days after an injection Sclerotherapy treatment session.
Complications of Injection Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a safe, FDA cleared procedure in the US. As with any medical procedure, there are potential side effects and complications. The most common side effects are itching and bruising. If any pain medication is needed after an injection Sclerotherapy session, ibuprofen or acetaminophen is all that is required. Complications are rare following injection Sclerotherapy, but include allergic reaction, venous thromboembolism, skin necrosis, thrombophlebitis, hyperpigmentation, and visual disturbances.