Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

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.