Hart Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Institute


621 S New Ballas Road
Suite 676A
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (314) 251-6250
Fax: (314) 251-6822


Spider Vein

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Treat Spider Veins

     Spider vein treatment (sclerotherapy) has been used for more than 40 years. The treatment has become increasingly useful for removing unwanted veins, which are commonly located on the thighs, ankles, and calves. The goal of the treatment is to remove unwanted spider veins permanently and remove the symptoms associated with spider veins.




Best Candidates for Spider Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy)

      Candidates for sclerotherapy can range in age from 13 to 60. The best candidates are well-educated about the treatment, have realistic expectations, and are fully able to comply with aftercare instructions.

      Spider veins are not the same as varicose veins. Spider veins are not necessary for the body, while varicose veins are necessary. Varicose veins are larger and darker in color. Varicose veins are often painful and can be related to a more serious medical condition. Separate treatment is usually necessary for varicose veins.Spider veins can occur with hormonal changes, during pregnancy, weight gain, repeated prolonged sitting or standing, and the use of certain medications. Spider veins may appear in three different ways, all of which are near the skin surface:

  • very thin "spider web-like" veins

  • very thin "tree-like" veins

  • very thin lengthy single veins

      Spider veins are known to burn, swell, and ache. They can be unsightly and interfere with your everyday life.

The Procedure

      Spider vein treatment does not require anesthesia. Discomfort is minimal. Sclerotherapy is performed at Dr. Hart's office or an outpatient surgical setting.

      Prior to the procedure, Dr. Hart will ask you to follow specific instructions such as wearing shorts on the day of treatment and no use of moisturizers, sunscreen, or oil. Following his instructions carefully will help the procedure go more smoothly.

      Dr. Hart will provide a special leg compression stocking to wear after the treatment is performed. Compression garments are a normal recovery aid for many procedures. It is extremely important to wear this stocking to reduce the risk of bleeding or a blood clot.

      Dr. Hart will also discuss the type of solution (a sclerosing agent) that will be injected to collapse the vein. There are numerous solutions that can be used for the treatment. Dr. Hart can best describe the choice of solutions and the appropriate solution for your condition.

      Sclerotherapy is a simple technique in which a bright light is directed at the vein as Dr. Hart injects a sclerosing agent into the vein with a very thin needle, which collapses the vein. The needle is very tiny and the injection locations are in close proximity. By collapsing the vein, it will be no longer visible and the uncomfortable symptoms associated with spider veins will subside. Typically, each inch of vein requires an injection.

      A session lasts about 15 to 45 minutes. During one session, the injection can occur anywhere from five to 50 times. The treatment may be repeated to achieve optimal results. Patients return home immediately after treatment.

After the Procedure

      Following each injection, a cotton ball and tape is applied to the injection area, which is to be removed after 48 hours. After the procedure, the leg compression stocking will be put on. For at least 72 hours, the compression stocking must remain on your legs to reduce bruising and reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation (discoloration of the treated area). Patients may experience slight leg cramping within the first two days. But this discomfort is usually not enough to require medication. Itching can also result and can be managed with medication.

      The veins will appear worse before they improve. There will be bruising that reduces within a month. Patients will probably not want to wear clothing that shows their legs during this time. Patients are advised to walk often for the first several days after the procedure, but to avoid extended standing or sitting in order to reduce the risk of blood clots. Dr. Hart will also instruct patients to cease weightlifting, squatting, jogging, and possibly other forms of exercise for 30 days.



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