Leg Vein Treatment
Leg veins on the surface of the skin, particularly bulging varicose veins, may be due to underlying problem veins. In order to get better results, these underlying veins may need to be treated first. During your leg vein consultation, Dr. Chiu may recommend ultrasound to evaluate the underlying veins of the leg prior to proceeding with any treatment.
Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for treating spider veins (small to medium sized veins) on the legs and has been in use since the 1930’s. Hypertonic saline, a concentrated salt solution, or polidocanol, a detergent based solution, is injected using a very fine needle directly into the blood vessels. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, making it become inflamed, harden, and eventually fade away completely. It may take up to 8 weeks to see the full results. There is only mild discomfort during the treatment sessions. It is important to wear compression stockings for 1-2 weeks after the procedure and Dr. Chiu recommends walking to encourage good circulation, although strenuous activity should be avoided for the first few days. The most common side effect is temporary hyperpigmentation of the injection sites. Occasionally, smaller matted clusters of blood vessels may appear in areas that were treated. These sometimes resolve on their own or may be treated with laser therapy. It is not unusual to require touch up treatments after 6-8 weeks.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a method of removing bulging varicose veins (larger veins) on the surface of the legs. It is done in the office under local anesthesia. This procedure involves making a tiny incision through which the veins are removed. No stitches are required. After the treatment, you will need to wear a compression bandage for at least 2 weeks. Dr. Chiu recommends walking after the treatment to increase the blood flow in the veins and reduce the risk of blood clots.