Spider veins, or “starbursts,” are so named because the series of veins often radiates out from a central point, reminiscent of the shape of a spider. They may also appear as fine, separate lines, a web-like maze, or as “branches” from a single “tree trunk.” They can develop on any part of the body, including the face, but most often appear on the thighs, calves, or ankles.
Spider veins are caused by abnormal blood flow and weakening of the blood vessel wall in the affected veins. Any condition or activity that puts pressure on the veins, such as gaining weight, and sitting or standing for long periods of time, can contribute to their development.
Approximately 50% to 60% of men and women have unsightly leg veins. Sclerotherapy has been a proven method for treatment of spider veins. Sclerotherapy consists of injecting a sclerosing agent into the superficial veins to distrupt the blood flow into these veins. At Ultima we use 23% saline as a sclerosing agent that eliminates the risk of adverse or allergic reaction to the solution. The solution irritates and destroys the inner lining of the vessel, causing it to disappear gradually over a period of weeks. An average of 50 to 70 percent of vessels can be permanently eliminated. Additional treatments may be necessary if new vessels form.
While sclerotherapy is still considered the treatment of choice for the removal of superficial leg veins, many vessels may be too small to inject or patients may have an aversion to this invasive procedure. The laser system will be used as an alternative method of treatment for those veins that are too small for injection or do not respond to sclerotherapy.
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