Does Spider Vein Removal Really Work for Everyone?

There are several ways to remove spider veins, most of which don’t involve extraction. Spider vein removal is now done by abolishing the vein inside the body, rather than cutting it out. Vein doctors can use injectable sclerosants, thermal energy, adhesives, and other tactics to close off spider veins. Book an appointment at our award-winning vein center in California to learn more about spider vein treatment options.

Spider vein removal has a high success rate when you choose the right doctor and the right treatment. Studies show that 80-90% of spider veins disappear with proper care. Some patients will need additional treatments if they have extensive vein damage. Less than 10% of patients don’t respond to treatments like sclerotherapy and may require a different treatment method.

Does spider vein removal really work? How long does it last? How many times do you need to treat spider veins for them to disappear? Here is the truth.

Which Method Works Best to Treat Spider Veins?

The most common ways to treat spider veins are sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, vein adhesives, endovenous laser ablation, and surface laser treatments. Surface lasers heat veins through the skin, which can be irritating to patients with sensitive skin. These lasers can only treat small areas of the vein at a time, and they can’t be used for large or deep veins since that would require excess heat on the skin. For these reasons, surface lasers are often used on facial spider veins, not leg veins.

Sclerotherapy is widely regarded as the first line of treatment for spider veins in the legs. Leg veins are prone to valve failure in deeper veins which allows blood to flow in reverse. This builds pressure that generates the spider veins at the surface of the skin. It’s a common condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). A doctor must treat that issue in order to fully resolve spider veins. If sclerotherapy is not ideal for your leg veins, doctors can also use radiofrequency or endovenous lasers (applied directly to the vein, rather than through the skin). In addition, they can close veins with an injection of cyanoacrylate glue.

There’s no one spider vein treatment that’s right for everyone, but there are several safe methods to choose from. The key is to choose an accredited vein center over a cosmetic center, so you get the best treatment options and expertise.

Is Treatment on the Surface of the Skin Better Than Surgery?

Most varicose veins and spider veins don’t require surgery. So, treatments on the surface of the skin are better than surgery for small spider veins that aren’t caused by CVI. But, surface lasers can’t treat larger, deeper veins or CVI, as that would require too much heat against the skin. For leg veins, it’s better to use an endovenous procedure since these treatments are positioned directly on the vein, preventing damage to the skin.

Endovenous procedures are not surgical. Doctors use tiny needles, fibers, or catheters to treat spider veins through small injection sites. There are no large incisions or general anesthesia, so they are safe, minimally invasive procedures. Patients remain awake and can move around right after the procedure. These treatments take 15-30 minutes, and most patients go back to work right away. Sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, mechanochemical ablation, and vein adhesives are all minimally invasive, endovenous treatments.

Do You Need a Board Certified Vein Doctor or Dermatologist?

If you want effective spider vein removal, choose a board certified vein specialist. Some dermatologists can do certain surface treatments, but they can’t treat large, deep veins, or underlying causes like CVI. Patients who get surface treatments for veins that stem from deeper issues won’t be happy with the results. Valve failure will continue to produce vein damage until it’s resolved. In addition, dermatological treatments are often considered elective by insurance companies. Vein doctors use ultrasound imaging to prove the medical necessity of treatment. Our patients routinely achieve full coverage for spider vein removal.

How Many Times Will You Need Your Veins Treated?

Most patients only require one treatment for spider veins. However, if you have a substantial number of spider veins, you might need more than one appointment to treat them all. Each patient’s veins respond differently to treatment. If you are in the small percentage of patients who don’t respond to a certain treatment, we have several others to try. Our vein doctors frequently combine methods for a perfect outcome.

Treatments close blood vessels immediately, but veins take a couple of weeks to fade from sight. This process is different for each patient, and large veins can take a month or so to disappear. Our Harvard-trained doctors will tell you what to expect, so you know whether to book additional treatments. 

Do Problem Veins Return After Treatment?

When a vein is treated correctly, it won’t return. Our vein doctors seal veins shut, so blood is rerouted into other veins. Over time, the treated vein shrinks and is harmlessly absorbed by the body. This removes it from the circulatory system so that it can’t return. However, it’s possible for a vein specialist to treat the vein with inadequate heat or medication. In this case, it won’t properly close.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a vein doctor with ultrasound technology, instead of a cosmetic or dermatological specialist. Vein doctors use ultrasound guidance to position the treatment and observe it in your vein. They can ensure the treatment works before you even leave their office.

Some patients mistake a new vein in the same area for a recurrence of the treated vein. If a doctor fails to treat the underlying cause, new vein damage can develop. In addition, CVI can produce ongoing vein issues. See a vein doctor to treat this condition and prevent additional spider veins.

Do Treatments Work Better If You Wear Compression Stockings?

Certain patients need to wear compression stockings for a couple of days after spider vein removal. This is to make sure the vein stays shut, so blood flows away from the treated blood vessel. Compression therapy can reduce symptoms of spider veins and CVI, but it doesn’t remove varicose veins and spider veins. Compression stockings can be ineffective or even dangerous for some patients. Always ask your doctor first, and have them select the right stockings, so you use proper compression.

Who Is the Best Spider Veins Doctor in California?

If you’re wondering, “Does spider vein removal really work,” the answer is, “yes,” with the right doctor. Visit the top board certified vein doctors in California for exceptional results. Dr. Carly Guthrie, Dr. Jasmine Koo, Dr. Amanda Steinberger, Dr. Walter Lech, and Dr. Billy Shoenfeld offer state-of-the-art care in our vein centers in San Diego and San José. We treat spider veins quickly and gently, restoring your circulation and self-confidence!