Spider & Surface Vein Treatment Geelong

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Veins that appear on the surface of the skin in the leg can be referred to as Surface Veins or Spider Veins, because of the way that the veins spread out on the leg. There are two predominant forms of surface vein treatment, they are Sclerotherapy and surface laser therapy. The best treatment for your particular leg veins is discussed and decided upon at an initial consultation with one of our leg vein doctors.

What is a “spider vein”?

Spider veins are small red, blue or purple blood vessels that are prominently visible through the skin and can occur in clusters, lines, star burst, branching or spider shaped patterns (hence the name). They are small in diameter, from less than 1mm to 4mm. Spider veins most commonly occur on the legs, but can also appear on the torso or more rarely the upper limbs.  They frequently occur on the inner or outer lower thighs, behind the knees, and around the calves and ankles.  Spider veins are also referred to as “telangiectasias”, “capillary veins” or “reticular veins”.  Larger veins which are greater than 5mm in diameter and more swollen or bulging are referred to as “varicose veins”.

Example of a Spider Vein | Spider Vein Treatment Geelong Example of a Surface Vein | Surface Vein Treatment Geelong

How to treat Surface Veins

Sclerotherapy

What is Sclerotherapy for surface vein treatment?

Sclerotherapy is the use of an injection technique as a method of treating a vein. The term comes from the word ‘scleros’ meaning to seal off, and ‘therapy’ which means to treat. Essentially a needle is inserted into a vein and a small amount of a solution is injected into the vein which damages the inside of the vein causing the vein to collapse and seal off. The body then breaks down the treated vein in much the same way the body removes bruises.

Is Surface Sclerotherapy painful?

The actual sclerotherapy injection is not painful because the needle used is extremely fine (30 or 32 gauge) and the majority of patients find the whole procedure very straight forward. For the small number of patients who notice discomfort when the actual solution is injected, we have found that by using a particular saline to dilute the solution, the procedure is then very well tolerated.

Who does the Surface Sclerotherapy?

All surface sclerotherapy treatments are performed by medical practitioners with extensive experience and training in the latest leg vein treatments. Geelong Veins Skin & Laser was established over 20 years ago, with the aim of providing a dedicated specialist non-surgical vein treatment service to the Geelong region.

How many spider vein treatments with Sclerotherapy are necessary?

This depends on the size, type, and number of surface veins and the desired level of improvement. Patients with surface veins typically have 3 or 4 treatments spaced a minimum of 4 weeks apart. Some patients may only require 1 or 2 treatments whilst others with extensive surface veins on both legs may require a longer series of treatments.

What are the costs of surface vein treatment with Sclerotherapy?

This will be discussed at the initial ‘Leg Vein Consultation’. A Medicare rebate is available for larger veins (over a certain diameter) but not for small surface veins. If there is no Medicare rebate then the Government will apply GST of 10%. Private health funds do not typically provide any rebate for Surface Sclerotherapy but may give a rebate for compression hosiery.

What happens after spider vein treatment with Sclerotherapy?

Immediately after spider vein treatment, you’ll have some small tapes that need to stay on for 1-2 hours and some stockings that will need to be on for anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on the type of spider veins being treated. You will be instructed to walk 30 minutes immediately after treatment and then a continuous daily walk of 30 minutes for the 2 weeks after treatment.

Surface Laser Treatment

Surface Laser Treatment is when a laser beam is delivered externally onto the skin’s surface, this is an effective option for surface vein treatment.

How does the Surface Laser for Leg Veins work?

Like all lasers, the laser we use to treat leg veins produces a beam of light of a particular wavelength. The wavelength of light that is used is attracted to the blood cells in the veins. When we concentrate light we get heat and if we can heat up the blood cells to a high enough temperature they coagulate and seal off the vein. The vein is then broken down by the body in the same way the body dissolves and breaks down bruises.

When do you use laser therapy for surface vein treatment?

Surface laser therapy is especially good for the very smallest of surface veins where it can be difficult to inject even with the smallest gauge needle. It is also a good option for patients who are severely ‘needle phobic’.

How many Laser treatments are needed?

This depends on the type and extent of veins and the desired level of improvement but patients usually require 3 or 4 treatments spaced at least 4 to 6 weeks apart.

What are the costs?

This will be discussed at the ‘Leg Vein Consultation’ but whilst Medicare will provide some rebate for larger surface veins there is no rebate for Laser treatment of surface veins and the Government will apply GST of 10%. Private Health funds do not typically provide any rebate for this procedure.

Meet our Leg Vein Expert –
Dr Barbra Ward

Dr Ward has a special interest in Phlebology and Leg vein disorders including Doppler Ultrasound based assessment and sclerotherapy treatments. She has developed a great expertise at treating surface and spider veins over the past 6 years at Geelong Laser Medical Centre. She is Geelong’s expert in treating Spider veins.

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