Spider Veins

Why Treat Spider Veins?

While they are usually painless, spider veins can cause discomfort and pain in a subset of cases, and they are considered esthetically disturbing by many. Anyone can develop spider veins, although people with a family history of spider veins, older individuals and pregnant women are at a higher risk.

Spider veins are commonly seen on the legs, however, they can also appear anywhere on the body, including the face and ankles. Although they are not known to cause medical problems, a feeling of heaviness or fatigue in your legs as well as leg swelling may suggest you have varicose veins.

Common Causes

People who have to stand for long periods of time (nurses, teachers, servers, etc.) have an increased chance of developing spider veins due to the amount of pressure in veins throughout the leg with genetics also playing a key role. They can even develop as a result of untreated varicose veins.

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Treatments Available


Sclerotherapy has withstood the test of time and proven to be an effective treatment for spider veins.

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Utilizing microwave energy, the device is applied to the skin surface to remove spider veins in areas that are otherwise difficult to treat.

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Laser Treatment

Cutaneous laser treatment is clinically proven to be an effective treatment for telangiectasias and hemangiomas or cherry angiomas.

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Why should I choose Medicus for spider vein treatment?

As vein specialists, Dr. Steven Tidwell and his board-certified Nurse Practitioner have the skill and latest technology at hand to treat varying cases of spider veins, including reticular, or "feeder" veins.

Reticular veins are the larger blue veins that often "feed" the spider veins and are eliminated using foam sclerotherapy. If previously treated spider veins are stubborn and seem to not go away, injecting the reticular veins will eliminate the spider veins at the source. Sometimes, an ultrasound is needed to see these reticular veins if they are not visible under the surface of the skin. As a board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist, Steven Tidwell, M.D. is specifically trained on ultrasound diagnostics and performs all of his own ultrasounds without the need for a separate ultrasound technologist.

Utilizing a combination of sclerotherapy (including ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy), VeinWave™, and cutaneous laser therapy, if needed, the professionals provide Medicus patients with optimal results normally not attainable with only one type of treatment.

Of course, patients need to keep in mind that with the exception of VeinWave™, all therapies require more than one treatment for optimal results.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider Veins, or Telangiectasias, are small, dilated or broken segments of blood vessel visible through the skin, often seen in a clustered pattern known as “spider veins.”

Hypertonic saline vs. Polidocanol for sclerotherapy?

We use FDA-approved Polidocanol for the sclerotherapy treatments. While the efficacy is the same, hypertonic saline (heavy salt water) is not used because it cannot be made into a foam to inject the reticular (feeder) veins and small varicosities for ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Polidocanol is more versatile than hypertonic saline and is more comfortable for the patient; it does not sting when injected.

How long does it take for the spider veins to go away after treatment?

Depending on how large the spider veins are, they typically go away within 2-4 weeks and may require more than one treatment using sclerotherapy or cutaneous laser treatments.

When using VeinWave™(used for the small spider veins typically found on the face or ankles), they disappear almost instantaneously after only one or two treatments. However, not all spider veins are candidates for VeinWave.

Are facial veins able to be removed?

Yes, the VeinWave™ treatment is specifically made for the small spider veins commonly found around the face including the nose and cheeks. Using microwave energy, the Veinwave procedure will eliminate these small veins in one to two treatments.

Are veins in the hand able to be treated?

Yes, veins in the hand can be treated by injecting a sclerosant into the vein, also known as sclerotherapy.

We also recommend injecting a dermal filler into the hand to improve the appearance of these veins without actually removing them.

Do insurance companies cover the cost of spider vein treatments?

Insurance companies do not cover the cost of spider vein treatments because they are considered cosmetic procedures.

If ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is necessary for small varicosities to be injected, these treatments are covered by insurance companies.

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