Laser therapy and sclerotherapy are both viable options to treat spider veins. Even though both treatments can lead to successful removal, there are some differences in the treatments, leading to Miami Vein Center choosing sclerotherapy as the optimal treatment.
Comparing Sclerotherapy vs Laser Therapy for Spider Veins
Let’s first review the way both treatments are performed in order to understand why sclerotherapy is the preferred option.
Sclerotherapy is performed by placing a sclerosant, which is a chemical, inside the spider veins. The sclerosant then creates a reaction within the vein that causes it to scar down on itself, preventing further blood flow through the vein. The body then absorbs the scarred vein, so that it is no longer present.
Laser therapy, uses a laser device to heat the vein. The vein is damaged from the heat, causing it to scar, preventing blood flow, and allowing the body to absorb the damaged vein.
Video: Dr. Almeida performing Sclerotherapy
"The feedback given from patients during the procedures is that laser therapy is more painful than sclerotherapy." - Dr. Almeida
Is Laser Therapy More Painful Than Sclerotherapy?
After performing both treatments for spider veins at Miami Vein Center, the feedback given from patients during the procedures is that laser therapy is more painful than sclerotherapy. The laser utilizes heat, which causes more pain than the use of the sclerosant in the vein. Many patients experience a burning feeling during the laser therapy, whereas there is no discernable pain in those receiving sclerotherapy. Due to the pain from the laser therapy, treatment is usually shorter and less veins are usually treated with each session. As pain is less with sclerotherapy, more veins can be treated in a shorter amount of time, leading to faster results.
Advantages of Sclerotherapy Over Laser Therapy
Other than pain, another disadvantage with laser therapy is that it may cause hypopigmentation, which are "white dots” seen by patients. Many patients don’t want to get rid of their spider veins only to be left with areas of hypopigmentation. Hypopigmentation occurs more often with leg vein laser treatment; and rarely with face vein therapy.
Video: Sclerotherapy Top Things to Know
Visit with your vein specialist today to determine which procedure will best suit your spider vein removal needs, but consider sclerotherapy as your optimal option for removal.