Lasers, light devices and sclerotherapy are the current treatments of choice for spider veins and varicose veins. The Cynosure/Palomar Icon IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and 1064nm laser are the ideal energy-based devices for treatment of leg veins. In most cases, results are immediate requiring only one single treatment. Other larger diameter vessels may require an additional 1-2 treatments. Downtime is minimal with the most common side effect being minor bruising. The treatment is associated with nominal pain which is made more comfortable by a contact sapphire crystal cooling device.
Sclerotherapy is a method used to destroy or eliminate unwanted veins (varicose veins) or spider veins (starburst veins) in which a solution called a sclerosing agent or irritant solution is injected into the vein. Small amounts of this solution are injected with a very fine needle into each vein.
A majority of patients will be cleared or at least see improvement. A small percentage of patients, less than 15 percent, have poor to fair results (veins have not totally disappeared after six treatments). The number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition varies from patient to patient depending on the extent of the varicose and spider veins present. The average is three to four treatments. A single vein may require one to three treatments.
Transient Hyperpigmentation, a discoloration of light brown streaks, occurs in approximately ten percent of patients. In almost every patient, the veins become darker immediately after the procedure, then fade within a couple of weeks. Matting of the veins and pain are also possible side effects. Allergic reactions, ankle swelling and phlebitis can also possibly occur but are rare.