Via Vascular

Serving The Seattle Area
(206) 525-VEIN (8346)

Spider Veins

About Spider Veins

Spider veins are very thin, visible veins that may be an indication of a deeper vein problem or simply a cosmetic issue. They most commonly occur on the legs but are sometimes also found on the face, hands, or other areas of the body. Spider veins can occasionally be painful and cause other symptoms, such as itching, burning, or heaviness in the legs. Both men and women may suffer from spider veins, but they are more commonly seen in women.

Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, or injuries. Wearing compression hose may minimize unwanted blood vessels from developing on the legs.

The treatments we offer at Via Vascular for spider veins are sclerotherapy and thermocoagulation. Before treating spider veins, it is important to confirm with ultrasound imaging that the problem isn't being caused by venous reflux, a problem with a deeper vein. If the cause is venous reflux, spider veins will typically reappear after they have been treated.

Spider Vein Treatments


A common treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy. In this in-office procedure, veins are injected with a solution which causes them to collapse and fade from view. The procedure typically improves not only the cosmetic appearance but associated symptoms as well. A few sessions may be required to obtain maximum benefit.

During sclerotherapy the sclerosant (solution) is injected into the spider vein with a small needle. The procedure normally takes 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how many spider veins are treated. This form of spider vein treatment is well tolerated... You may need repeated sessions and many injections per session, depending on the extent of the spider veins and type of sclerosant used.
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Thermocoagulation is a minimally invasive technique used in the treatment of spider veins, fine telangiectasia, small cherry angiomas, and veins that are resistant to sclerotherapy or intense pulse light (IPL) treatment and located on the face or legs. Most patients find the treatment to be quick, with minimal discomfort.

Thermocoagulation treatment is reserved for small spider veins that are too small for sclerotherapy or to be removed surgically. A hair-thin probe is placed on the unsightly vein, and a microburst of high energy heats the vein, coagulating the blood and collapsing the vein wall. This video segment from the television show 'The Doctors' demonstrates the procedure. A thermocoagulation treatment session can take 15 minutes to one hour.
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