Sclerotherapy, the Gold Standard in Treatment

For Spider and Varicose Veins

Portsmouth, NH – Both men and women as they age, can develop unsightly and sometimes uncomfortable veins on their legs. Superficial leg veins, also known as spider veins, are small, dilated surface veins that can be pink, red, or purple and appear as lines or clusters on ankles, lower legs, or thighs. They can occur alone or with larger varicose veins. Spider veins can cause discomfort, as well as cosmetic problems. Varicose veins are large, swollen, protruding veins. They are misshapen with blood that should be flowing back to the heart. Instead, blood pools in the veins. Varicose veins can ache, burn, or cause a heavy, throbbing feeling in the legs, particularly after long periods spent standing up. Varicose veins may sometimes lead to very serious problems.

The cause of spider veins is not known, although they tend to run in families and occur more often in women. Female hormones or pregnancy are often a factor. Increased blood pressure causes even the smallest veins to swell, but a person can be perfectly healthy and have spider veins. Spider veins can be caused by injury or clothing that is too tight, but are not caused by standing although standing for long periods of time can make them worse. Although exercise, weight loss, and support hose may limit the number of new vessels, it will not prevent their development.

The discomfort and self-consciousness of varicose and spider veins can be alleviated and a more clear,youthful appearancecan be restored to your legs. Dr. Mark Ballentyne treats both varicose and spider veins with “injection sclerotherapy,” the safest, most economical, and most common treatment. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into unwanted, diseased veins using a very small needle, about the size of a hair. Most people find this relatively painless. The solution produces an irritation that slowly closes off the vein. A compression garment causes the vein walls to scar and close down, blocking the flow of blood. Blood is redirected to healthy veins, and the varicose or spider veins become invisible. Treated veins represent only a very small number of the veins in your legs carrying blood, making it easy for other veins to compensate, returning blood to the heart.

Sclerotherapy does not require sedation and patients can leave the office on their own afterwards. Results are seen almost immediately, although it may take weeks for the veins to reabsorb completely and may may also require more than more treatment. The initial reaction of redness or bruising will usually go away within a week and the veins slowly disappear over two to six weeks. After sclerotherapy, patients report that their legs are generally more comfortable, allowing them to return to their normal activities. They also report improved cosmetic appearance in their legs and renewed confidence when wearing skirts or shorts. Visit our website at to learn about the complete range of plastic surgical procedures or call Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center at 1-800-633-6860 for additional information.

About Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center:

Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center is the practice of New Hampshire plastic surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Gray, since 1985. Dr. Gray is nationally and internationally recognized as the inventor of the scarless breast reduction, a revolutionary procedure that eliminates scars associated with the older, traditional method of breast reduction. He has a large following of satisfied patients from across New Hampshire, the United States and a number of foreign countries, who have sought him out for breast augmentation and scarless breast reduction. Dr. Gray has taught at educational conferences for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and is the only member of the International Society of Plastic Surgeons from New Hampshire. Dr. Mark Ballentyne is a highly skilled physician who has been Director of Medical Aesthetics at the Skin Wellness Center since 2003. Dr. Ballentyne is board-certified by the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians, is licensed to practice in New Hampshire and will be fully certified by the Board of Aesthetic Medicine in September 2011. He has established a strong reputation for his talent in administering dermal fillers, BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport injections, and Fraxel laser treatments. He is a national trainer for Allergan™. Dr. Brannon Claytor is board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as in hand surgery. Dr. Claytor is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, offering patients a high level of skill, outstanding training and commitment to excellence in cosmetic, reconstructive and hand surgery. He completed an additional year of training in breast microsurgery, oncologic reconstruction and hand microsurgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and was on the teaching faculty of the Lahey Clinic Medical Center.

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