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Leg Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy)

Synonyms - spider vein, varicose vein treatment, sclerotherapy

What causes these veins to become visible?

Heredity is a major contributing factor. Spider veins are more common in women (up to 60%) than men. Elevated estrogen levels may play a role in their development. Puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone replacement therapy are often associated with the appearance of more veins. Trauma can produce more visible veins as well.

How are they treated?

For most cases of smaller spider veins, sclerotherapy is still the gold standard treatment (better than lasers on legs). A solution is injected with a very fine needle directly into the blood vessel. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing the inner walls to stick together and the blood within to clot. A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, depending on its size. In any one session a number of vessels will be injected.
To ensure better results, injected veins must be kept collapsed with pressure for at least 5 days. Recent studies suggest that 3 weeks of pressure is associated with even better results, with lower incidences of unwanted effects such as pigmentation or new tiny vessel formation ('telangiectatic matting').

The solutions are different depending on the size of the vessel to be injected. Dr. Lozinski will decide which solution is best for your particular case.

Are there other treatment methods?

Sclerotherapy is currently superior to laser treatment of small leg veins. Laser leg vein treatment is often associated with brown discolouration and unpredictable results, even with the latest laser Technology. Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) - laser insertion directly into large deep veins - is currently the gold standard treatment for large varicose veins. It is not covered by OHIP and currently costs in the neighbourhood of $3000 - $4000 per leg. Surgically tying veins off (litigation) and pulling them out (phlebectomy) are other options. Patients who require ligation, phlebectomy or EVLT are referred to a cardiovascular surgeon to deal with larger vessels before sclerotherapy of smaller vessels is feasible.

How do I find out more?

To book a consultation phone 905.664.5850 or use our online Consultation Request Form.