One of the more common problems we deal with is spider veins on legs. These can be caused by weight gain, sedentary lifestyle, prolonged standing, pregnancy or local trauma. As well as being unsightly they can sometimes cause pain or itch. An important part of the assessment of spider veins is ruling out underlying varicose veins. If these are present they will need to be dealt with first, otherwise spider vein treatment will be less effective.
The aberrant vessels are treated by injecting with a sclerosant solution via a very fine needle (Microsclerotherapy). Polidocanol, Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate and Hypertonic Saline are common sclerosants. They act by irritating the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse on itself.
Because the needle is so fine and the injection so superficial the pain experienced is minimal. It has been described as equivalent to a mosquito bite.
Once the sclerotherapy is complete, compression stockings are worn to maximise the effect of the procedure.