Spider Veins Treatment?

I have been going to a doctor for several years to try to get them treated. They have treated the larger veins that are "flowing backwards". I have gone for several sclerotherapy treatments and laser treatments and I still have several large patches of spider veins that are disgusting. He has told me those just can't be treated. What is wrong? Are they treating it wrong or is it all just a lie and they will never go away? I see veins like mine be treated online and seem to work.

Doctor Answers 8

Treatments for Spider Veins

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In almost all cases, spider veins can be treated with either sclerotherapy or lasers. As a pioneer of sclerotherapy treatment, I would suggest visiting a board certified dermatologist who is highly specialized in the treatment of leg veins, as they will have the highest level of knowledge for bringing you a successful and effective treatment. When treating spider veins with sclerotherapy injections, many doctors simply treat the visible veins instead of locating the root problem. When I perform the treatment for my patients, I carefully locate the cause of the spider veins, which brings the best results as the root source is being treated instead of the after effect veins.

San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Spider veins resistant to sclerosant injections

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Thank you for your question.

Persistent pooled venules (bluish spider veins) are normally due to back flow in the 'feeding '  larger vein which sometimes itself is not visible.

Doppler ultrasonography is required to establish that. Solution might be to strip out that vessel surgically or use a foam sclerosant. Look for a doctor experienced in vascular treatments.

Spider veins can almost always be treated

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When spider veins persist in spite of treatments, there is usually an underlying cause, leaky valves, that has not yet been treated.  Ultrasound by an experienced technologist or physician is important to look for that.  Heredity can be a major factor as well.  Switching sclerosing solutions, the concentration of the solution, making sure that compression stockings are worn, consideration of laser, are all important.  Whether the spiders are pink, red, or bluish-purple makes a difference as well.  If your physician isn't able to address these questions, I would consider another physician.  There are a lot of technique aspects in this type of treatment.

Margaret Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Veins are treatable.

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When veins are resistant to treatment there is usually a reason.  The first thing that I would suggest would be to repeat the venous ultrasound to see if there is any feeding source for the spider veins such as valves that have not closed or other veins with leaking valves.  If there are no leaking valves, then I would next recommend looking for feeding veins to the spiders with special lights which we call Vein Lites.  Thirdly, I would then increase the concentration of the sclerosing solution or change the sclerosing solution. There are times when the treatment of spider veins could be challenging,but usually with persistence we can solve the problem.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

Spider veins, Reticular veins and Varicose veins

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Once the 'underlying problem' is fixed, namely venous insufficiency, the focus should be to treat the spider veins (telangiectasias), reticular veins and varicose veins (smaill and large). It should be remembered that one needs expertise to treat venous insufficiency, as most doctors just treat truncal venous insufficiency (at the groin - saphenofemoral junction) or at the level of the knee (saphenoopliteal junction) - they have no expertise in treating perforator venous insufficiency that is so often the reason why sclerotherapy fails or cosmetic laser work fails. It may be that you have perforator vein refux (sometimes called feeder veins) and these have to be treated with special laser devices such as perforator EVLT procedures or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy before cosmetic sclerotherapy or topical laser work is reattempted.


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Sclerotherapy for spider veins takes many sessions. the same with laser. Laser is very good for very small red spider blushes that cannot be treated with sclerotheapy. The laser should be specific to blood vessels. There are many laser that make the claim, but they are not created equal.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Treating spider veins

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Did he say why they can't be treated? If they are small and red they should be able to be treated by sclerotherapy. When they are tight, almost spiderweb-like in appearance, and appear it patches, they do take a number of treatments to fully treat, but it is possible. But you need to clarify why your doctor says they can't be treated.

Spider Vein Treatments, Sclerotherapy

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It is true that some patients have spider veins clusters that are truly resistant to treatment, but there is likely other treatment options available for you.  One good option is to try a different sclerotherapy medication.  Since some sclerotherapy medications work well for some patients but not for others, it is usually a good idea to switch medications when you are not getting a good response with one particular one.  Polidocanol, Sotradecol, or hypertonic saline are some good options.  The other options is changing from solution to Foam chemical, which can often increase the effectiveness.  Then there are also specific vein laser and Ohmic thermolysis (Veinwave, VeinGogh) which is different than laser but also effective.  I would recommend a visit with a different vein specialist in your area to assess your situation.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.