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Spider veins are the red, blue or purple thread-like veins that appear near the surface of your skin. They form a web-like pattern and can appear anywhere on your body, including your face. Most often, they appear on your thighs, calves, ankles or buttocks.

Increased pressure on these areas of your body — due to sitting or standing for long periods, injury, disease or venous insufficiency — fosters the development of spider veins. Your Manhattan vein doctor has several treatment options in your search for how to get rid of spider veins, including laser for spider vein removal.

Spider Vein Laser Treatment

Lasers are highly focused beams of light. Through your skin, the laser heat targets the problem veins, causing scar tissue to form. The scar tissue collapses the vein, so it loses its blood supply and is eventually reabsorbed by your body. The procedure involves several steps:

  1. No major preparations are required prior to spider vein laser treatment.
  2. Because it’s non-invasive, spider vein laser treatment is administered in your doctor’s office, usually in less than an hour.
  3. On your day for spider vein treatment, do not use creams, lotions or moisturizers near the targeted area.
  4. You may receive a local anesthetic to minimize any possible discomfort.
  5. The focused beam of light penetrates your skin to reach the targeted vein.
  6. Laser for spider vein removal is so precise that the surrounding skin, tissue and veins remain unharmed.
  7. As the laser heats the vein, scar tissue forms and the vein collapses over a period of four to six weeks.
  8. The heat also seals the vein from its blood source, keeping the potential for post-op bleeding to a minimum.
  9. You may feel a slight snapping sensation as the laser heats.
  10. Your body reabsorbs the vein and it disappears.

If underlying large veins such as varicose veins feed the spider veins, your doctor may need to address them first with endovenous ablationradiofrequency treatment or sclerotherapy.

Risks and Recovery Associated with Spider Veins Removal

Recovery time when you have laser for spider vein removal is negligible. You may notice a few minor side effects like a slight bump in your skin or some minimal bruising or redness. You must wear compression stockings for one week to encourage reabsorption of the vein. It also reduces the possibility of new veins forming.

While extremely safe and effective, some risks are present, as there are with any medical procedure. You may experience skin color changes, minor burns, pain or prickling due to nerve involvement. Small or large blood clots in targeted or surrounding veins rarely occur.

Having an experienced vein doctor reduces the risks further. Your final results may not be apparent for several months, although most patients see satisfying improvement in two to six weeks.

Avoiding Future Spider Vein Treatment

Preventing the recurrence of spider veins is preferable to future treatments. Simple lifestyle modifications reduce the chance that you will need spider veins removal again. These modifications include:

  • Wearing compression hose available in most pharmacies in a wide variety of colors and styles
  • Losing weight to reduce pressure on areas affected by spider veins
  • Using sunscreen and wearing a hat to prevent sun damage
  • Exercising regularly, especially walking to keep your blood flow healthy
  • Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Elevating your legs while sitting or sleeping

Alternative Spider Veins Removal Treatments

Because of its efficacy and success rate, your NYC vein doctor may recommend spider vein laser treatment for you. The procedure cannot, however, resolve all issues. Its effectiveness is limited to smaller veins that lie near the surface of your skin. For large, deep veins, your physician may suggest other methods, such as:

  • Sclerotherapy, which uses a high-saline or chemical solution injected into your veins to damage and collapse them.
  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation, which are reserved for deeper veins.
  • Endovenous laser ablation treatments, which use a laser instead of ultrasound.

Treatment procedures keep improving, but there’s no need to wait. You have more choices than ever to customize your treatment. And your doctor knows how to get rid of spider veins to suit your individual needs and lifestyle.