We often see patients in our clinic who are wondering what is the best treatment for spider veins? Inevitably, this is a question about whether sclerotherapy or laser therapy for spider veins is best. As you might expect, the answer isn’t so simple and the answer lies in the individual assessment of each patient.
To begin with, vein treatment is influenced by multiple factors, including what you are treating, the location, and how large the veins are. However, before beginning any treatment, our vein doctors want to know if there is an underlying venous disorder.
Treatment with Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is a procedure that uses a medication, called a sclerosant, to collapse the targeted veins. This sclerosant can vary, however, reputable vein clinics will use polidocanol–the safest and effective choice at 0.25%-1% concentration depending on the size of the targeted vein. The medication is injected into the unhealthy veins with direct visualization or in some cases with ultrasound or infra-red light. Over the next couple weeks (or months for larger veins) the veins will slowly be broken down and absorbed by your body. One treatment is expected to produce 50-60% improvement and many patients will require two or three sessions for complete elimination.
Treatment with Laser: Laser technology focuses a beam of energy on unhealthy spider veins that are absorbed by the blood vessel. This causes the vein to close down through heat and is gradually removed by the body over the course of several weeks.