Unsightly spider veins are no match for a powerful little solution that can make them disappear. That solution is called "sclerotherapy," the simple cosmetic treatment that will have your legs ready for shorts, skirts and bathing suits.
It is hard for Theresa Needham to remember not having spider veins. "I don't know if it happened from an injury or just from...I don't know how they happened!" she said.
Like 35 percent of the United States population, Theresa has veins hat do not actually present a medical problem, but are a bit of a cosmetic nuisance. "They look like someone took a purple marker and drew on my leg," she said.
Doctor Carl Fastabend is the vein pro at the Vein Center of Southwest lLouisiana. He says lots of women, especially after having kids or gaining weight, can develop spider veins that seem to keep weaving their way around the leg. "It has to do with damage to the tiny valves in these tiny veins, they just deteriorate," said Dr. Fastabend.
Enter sclerotherapy, a minimally-invasive procedure using a tiny needle and an injectable medication that scars down the vein - making it disappear. "It flows into the vein and damages the wall of these abnormal, tiny veins and makes them develop scar tissue, then they no longer function as a vein and when that happens they fade away," said Dr. Fastabend.
Typically one leg can be treated in one visit and Theresa says her discomfort level never went too high. "It was maybe a two, it wasn't bad at all," she said.
The procedure itself only lasts for a few minutes. Patients say the worst part is just wearing compression stockings for about a week, that keep the blood from flowing back into affected veins as they disappear. "Perhaps I should've thought about doing this in the fall," said Theresa, "but I think I'll be fine!"
With warmer weather here, Theresa says she is glad she went through with sclerotherapy and she is excited to show off her made-over legs. "I have some cute dresses and some cute skirts," she said, "and I just prefer that they not be there and it will make me feel better about myself."
There is a free vein screening with Dr. Fastabend Thursday, April 12th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Lake Charles Racquet Club. Call 312-VEIN to register. One person will even receive a free treatment!