Treating spider veins is a relatively routine procedure. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have questions about the process, success rate, and any potential side effects. Dr Adrian Ling has been providing high-quality vascular care to patients for many years now and is well-placed to answer any and all questions you might have about spider vein treatment.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are very small, damaged veins that appear on the surface of the skin, usually on the legs or face. They tend to be blue or purple in colour and, as the name suggests, take the appearance of a spider web.

Spider veins are not particularly harmful to your health, but many patients wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins develop when valves inside your veins stop working properly. The purpose of a valve is to ensure blood travels in one direction only. A faulty valve in your vein can cause blood to pool, putting pressure on vein walls and causing them to bulge and burst.

What are the risk factors for developing spider veins?
There are a number of risk factors associated with spider veins. In some cases, being aware of these can help you make proactive changes to your lifestyle, reducing the likelihood that you will be affected.

Gender: Statistically, women are more likely to develop spider veins than men. Pregnant women, in particular, often report the condition.

Age: As you get older, the likelihood of you developing spider veins increases.

Family history: Having a family history of spider veins can increase your risk.

Obesity: Excess weight puts additional pressure on all parts of your body, including your veins.

Lifestyle: Standing or sitting for long periods of time increases the likelihood that spider veins will develop. People who work sedentary jobs are often at higher risk.

Can my spider veins be treated?

Yes! The good news is that spider veins are very easy to treat. Advancements made in medicine mean that patients should expect positive results.

What are my treatment options?

Dr Adrian Ling has treated countless patients suffering from spider veins using a method known as sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves the use of very fine needles, which are injected into the affected veins. A chemical irritant is administered, causing the veins to first become inflamed before sealing shut, directing blood to healthier pathways.

How long will the procedure take?

The length of the procedure depends on the severity and location of your condition. Generally speaking, it shouldn’t take any longer than half-an-hour and can be conducted in a clinic.

Are there any potential side effects?

You may encounter some short-term side effects following spider vein treatment. These can include inflammation, bruising, and darkened skin. Such side effects tend to fade. Dr Ling routinely informs his patients of potential side effects.

If you have any concerns about the procedure itself or the recovery process, speak with Dr Ling.

What will the recovery process involve?

Sclerotherapy is a relatively minor procedure. Dr Ling will be able to provide you with recovery advice that is specific to your situation. However, generally speaking, most patients will be able to return to normal activities immediately after the procedure.

It may be recommended that you abstain from particularly vigorous physical activity and excessive sun exposure in the week following your treatment.

How can I prevent spider veins from occurring?

It’s important to understand that spider veins are a very common condition that affects millions of people around the world. While there are some strategies you can implement to prevent spider veins from occurring, many of the risk factors — such as gender and age — are unavoidable.

Wearing compression garments on your legs and feet can help prevent the formation of spider veins and reduce leg swelling, however they are quite tight and can be uncomfortable. Lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet and getting an appropriate amount of exercise, can also help.

If you have a sedentary occupation — like an office worker — aim to get up from your desk and stretch your legs on a regular basis.

Above all, understand that spider vein treatment is readily available and very effective. If you still have further questions, contact Dr Ling today. Dr Ling consults at a number of different locations across northern and central Melbourne and can be reached via phone (03 9024 6867) or email (