If you are self-conscious about those unsightly red and blue starbursts behind your knees or on your ankles or thighs, you are not alone. Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are a common complaint of Dr. Zelken’s patients. Thankfully, the Zelken Institute can easily get rid of these blemishes.
Spider veins are small groups of red, blue or purple veins that appear on the face, ankles, calves and thighs. These can be caused by genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy or weight fluctuations. Some women get spider veins at a young age, while others don’t notice them until later in life.
At the Zelken Institute, we use different techniques to reduce and erase the appearance of spider veins. Depending on the particular case, Dr. Zelken and Nurse Miki will use sclerotherapy or laser treatments – or a combination of both – to eliminate the broken capillaries.
The most common method for treating spider veins is to inject a solution into or cauterize the affected veins, causing them to collapse and fade. Laser treatments may also be an option.
Spider vein treatment could be a good solution for you if you have a positive attitude and realistic goals and are committed to following the recommended course of treatment.
Prior to spider vein treatment, you will have a consultation with Dr. Zelken, Nurse Miki, and the team. Dr. Zelken will go over any risks and potential complications, such as changes in skin sensation and hyperpigmentation. You must decide for yourself whether the potential risks are acceptable. If the answer is yes, you’ll need to sign a consent form.
We will have questions for you pertaining to your health, desires and lifestyle, and it’s absolutely critical that you are forthcoming with your answers. Dr. Zelken or Nurse Miki will ask that you stop smoking before your spider vein treatment. We may also recommend that you get a lab test or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, herbal supplements and other medications that may increase bleeding.
Spider vein treatment is usually done in an outpatient setting and requires local or topical numbing. There are two common methods for treating spider veins. With sclerotherapy, each spider vein is injected with a solution that irritates the inside of the vein. Over time, the vein will collapse and disappear. When we use electrocautery, we use a tiny cautery needle to directly coagulate and collapse the pesky vessels. Usually we see an instant result with this method, and several methods may be necessary.
The laser treatment option uses an intense beam of light to eliminate spider veins. A combination of injection and laser therapy may be used. If you have multiple spider veins, more than one laser therapy session may be required.
Following your spider vein treatment, Dr. Zelken, Nurse Miki and the team will give you specific instructions regarding how to care for your legs. These may include wearing support hose, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection and certain activities to avoid. We will also schedule a time for you to follow up with Dr. Zelken or Nurse Miki in order to monitor your progress and go over any questions you may have.
It’s normal to experience some bruising and cramping in your legs for the first day or two following spider vein treatment. You should avoid squatting, heavy lifting and running for one week. Within one month, you can resume most exercises. You should be completely healed after two months.
Although good results are expected from spider vein treatment, it’s important to understand that new spider veins may appear in the future. In that case, you might need to repeat the procedure.
If you’re considering spider vein treatment or have further questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation with Dr. Zelken. We’re located at 1617 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach, CA, and we can be reached at (949) 432-4730. We serve patients from across the world — we have a Mandarin Chinese-speaking physician — as well as clients in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach, California.
Written by Dr. Jonathan Zelken
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