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Cosmetic Surgery: Sclerotherapy

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Targets: Purple and red varicose veins and spider veins

Procedure: With a slender needle, doctors inject a solution into the vein, causing it to shrink and eventually fade. (Veins may look worse before getting better.) “If the vein is a tiny, tiny spot—too small for a needle—we may use a laser,” Chang says. The injected solution, however, is still the preferred method.

Time: Five minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the amount of varicose veins treated and their size. There might be some stinging.

Recovery: Bruises may take up to a month to totally fade. You may need to wear compression stockings for up to 72 hours. There might be cramping.

» Return to the Cosmetic Feature.
» R​eturn to the January 2013 issue. 

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