Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I choose a minimally invasive procedure instead of a traditional surgery?

In many cases, minimally invasive procedures offer some significant advantages. Those advantages include less trauma during surgery and fewer complications after. With minimally invasive procedures, you typically enjoy a shorter hospital stay (or none at all), a faster recovery and less scarring. In fact, with many of these procedures, surgeons use Band-Aids® for dressings!

Why should I choose Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for my minimally invasive procedure?

Jefferson surgeons have been performing – and pioneering – minimally invasive procedures for over a decade. Today, we have many of our surgeons have extensive experience in minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures covering a wide range of medical specialties. We have experts in advanced endoscopy in our Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. We have leading urologists who routinely use da Vinci® Surgery for prostatectomy. And our Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience team includes surgeons who use minimally invasive techniques to treat hard-to-reach tumors of the brain and spine using stereotactic radiosurgery, cranial base surgery and endoscopic neurosurgery.

What is the difference between laparoscopic surgery and keyhole or Band-Aid® surgery?

The terms "laparoscopic surgery," "keyhole surgery" and "Band-Aid® surgery" are interchangeable. All refer to a family of minimally invasive procedures that use small incisions and some kind of laparoscope, or high-tech camera, to guide surgeons in performing the procedures through the tiny openings. These techniques can be used for a number of procedures, including common operations like removal of the gall bladder, removal of part of the colon and removal of the kidney.

How have Jefferson operating rooms been updated for minimally invasive procedures?

Jefferson has a range of surgical suites that have been outfitted with the tools and technologies needed for minimally invasive procedures. Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, for example, has state-of-the-art equipment for stereotactic radiosurgery. Similarly, the Jefferson Minimally Invasive Cranial Base Surgery and Endoscopic Neurosurgery Center uses the latest digital operating rooms – the first of their kind in the Delaware Valley.

What causes spider veins?

The exact origin of the disorder is unknown, but reports have shown that heredity, pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain or leg injury may influence the occurrence of leg spider veins.

Does sclerotherapy work for everyone?

The majority of sclerotherapy treatments performed result in significant improvement. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the treatment will be effective in every case. A small percentage of patients who undergo sclerotherapy may have poor to fair results.

What results will you see and how soon?

The result can be immediate, however, it usually takes several weeks of healing to be achieved. Each vein usually requires one to three treatments. The veins disappear over a period of two weeks to three months. Recurrence may occur over a period of one to five years. This treatment does not prevent new telangiectasia from developing.

How many treatments will I need?

While in many cases the treated vein resolves in one treatment, the number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient. Depending on the extent of the spider vein present, multiple sessions may be required.

Are there certain kinds of spider veins that can't be treated?

Certain types of large varicose veins may not respond readily to sclerotherapy alone. These vessels may require a minor surgical procedure followed later with sclerotherapy. You may be referred to a vascular surgeon for complete or partial treatment of these specific types of large varicose veins.

Are there other types of procedures to treat spider veins?

Yes, depending on the size of the vessel, vascular laser treatment may be an option. Your physician will be able to tell you the best course of treatment.

What precautions should be taken before and after treatment?

It is recommended to stop aspirin or aspirin-like products one week prior to your treatment, unless prescribed by your physician. After treatment, move your legs regularly and walk as much as possible. If you must drive, stop every hour and walk around. If your legs become painful, walk. Avoid vigorous exercise like aerobics for at least five to seven days after treatment. Pressure bandages/compression stockings may be required to be worn post-operation.