The veins are injected with a very small needle, so any discomfort is minimal. The injection is a sclerosing agent that damages the lining of these small veins and causes them to close down. It is a safe and simple non-surgical procedure, which may require several treatments to obtain desired results.
The procedure is done by a doctor and is relatively painless. The small needles do cause discomfort but generally, the lining of these veins are not pain-sensitive. After the treatment stockings are applied and you are encouraged to walk daily to reduce any possible complications, similar to after treatment of varicose veins. Normal simple non-strenuous activities may be resumed immediately after treatment.
Treatments are usually 4 to 6 weeks apart so the effectiveness of prior treatment can be seen and determine if any further injections are required. Depending on what outcome the patient expects and the severity of the condition determines the number of treatments.
The area treated will have a swollen appearance with bruising at injection sites, which will settle in 2-4 weeks, as the treated veins are absorbed. The treated area will look bruised and worse for a few weeks, whilst the area settles. Occasionally transient increased pigmentation can occur from a pigment called haemosiderin being retained in the skin, at the injection site, or along the treated vein. This will normally fade over the next 3-6 months (in rare cases up to 12-18 months).
Other side effects are rare but occasionally small post injections ulcers occur about the size of a fingernail , these resolve with time, but are thought to be due to small connections between veins treated and small arterioles.
The doctor assessing you will go over all the possible outcomes and risks about the procedure in detail, plus give you information about follow up and aftercare.
Very small spider veins can be treated with a superficial vascular laser. After the microsclerotherapy we usually offer laser treatments of any remaining small spider networks that are too fine for microsclerotherapy. Occasionally fine spider networks can be treated with laser alone.