Spider Veins

Tennessee Vein Center offers comprehensive treatment options for spider veins as well as the most difficult varicose veins. With multiple treatment modalities to choose from we are able to comprehensively treat a variety of patient concerns. We are the only vein clinic in Loudon, TN, and Alcoa, TN that is able to comprehensively treat difficult spider veins with the Cutera® Excel V™ laser system or traditional sclerotherapy.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, medically called telangiectasias, are abnormally functioning veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. Unwanted reticular veins, those larger blue or green veins, are also very common and can in many instances contribute to worsening spider veins. The legs, face, and chest are all common places where these veins occur. Spider vein treatment in most cases can safely, and efficiently eliminate those veins and improve your appearance.

Spider Veins before treatment and after treatment by Tennessee Vein Center    Veins on Chin before treatment and after treatment by Tennessee Vein Center    Breast veins after augmentation surgery before and after treatment by Tennessee Vein Center

Differences between spider, reticular and varicose veins

There is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary.

Spider Vein Treatment Options

Unwanted veins can be treated with sclerotherapy, Veinwave™, or Cutera® Excel V™ laser. These treatments cause the unwanted veins to close down, allowing your body to dissolve the vein wall over a period of time. The type of vein being treated and your skin type are a few factors that will determine which treatment course you are the best candidate for.

Spider vein treatments are performed in our offices in Loudon, TN and Alcoa, TN. Treatment takes approximately 20 minutes and the number of spider vein treatments needed to treat your veins can vary and is dependent upon a number of factors including the types of veins you have, and the severity. Most patients need anywhere from 3-8 treatments to see the results they want. Perfection, while desirable, is unfortunately not realistic. Improvement, however, is always anticipated. The majority of our patients are very happy wearing shorts and bathing suits again after they have finished treatments.


Sclerotherapy is a medical technique that involves the injection of a medication, called a sclerosant, into an abnormal or unwanted vein. This sclerosant irritates the lining of the vein wall, causing it to collapse, or close down. Your body then resorbs the unwanted vein over the next several days to weeks. There are two FDA approved sclerosants that we use for the treatment of spider veins:

  • Sodium tetradecyl sulfate
  • Polidocanol

These safe and effective medications are able to treat the unwanted veins using a series of injections.

Diagram of Sclerotherapy procedure performed on a varicose veins

Veinwave™ for facial vein treatment

Veinwave™ is an excellent option for treating spider veins that are too fine to be treated with injection sclerotherapy. For the face, Veinwave™ is an excellent treatment for very fine veins, especially around the facial area. This FDA-cleared, radiofrequency, device is relatively new in the USA but has been used in Europe for many years.

Cutera® Excel V™ Laser Vein Treatment

The latest addition to our spider veins treatment options is the state of art Cutera® Excel V™, a solid-state, long-pulsed Nd-YAG technology laser system that utilizes 2 different wavelengths (532/1064nm) to treat a variety of concerns, including unwanted veins. Its versatility allows unmatched precision for the treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions including leg veins, facial veins, redness, Rosacea, Port Wine Stains, Poiklioderma, venous lakes, age spots, and brown spots. The treatment has never been more comfortable with the built-in cooling system. The sapphire contact cooling allows for a comfortable before, during, and after experience without compromising treatment efficacy. The Excel V™ works specifically by heating up the unwanted veins, causing them to become fibrotic and close down.

What to Expect with your vein treatment

At your initial evaluation we will review your pertinent health history and examine your veins to determine if you are a candidate for treatment. You can expect a discussion about both treatment types, their risks and benefits, and an estimate of the cost to treat your concerns. In most instances, treatment can be scheduled within the next week.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a vein treatment feel like?
Vein treatment is tolerated very well by our patients. While you would never describe it as “comfortable” the treatments have an acceptable level of discomfort. Sclerotherapy uses extremely small needles to treat the veins, and our Cutera® Excel V™ has a built-in cooling device to make treatment as easy as possible.
Are there activity restrictions?
We encourage patients to return to most of their normal activities after treatments. However, very strenuous activities, heavy weightlifting, and hot tubs or saunas should be avoided for the next couple of days.
Do I have to wear compression hose?

No! Spider vein treatment does not require compression hose or compression socks. However, they are recommended for everyone, due to the benefits of wearing compression hose.

What side effects are there to spider vein or varicose treatments?

Side effects are generally mild and transient. They can include:

  • Temporary bruising and swelling. We recommend Arnicare® Gel or Cream to help reduce bruising.
  • Itching and inflammation during and after treatment.
  • Trapped blood is a common occurrence with treatments but can be alleviated at your next visit or will slowly dissolve with time.
  • Hyperpigmentation, or hemosiderin staining, can be an unfortunate side effect of treatment. In the majority of cases, it will slowly fade over the next year. In rare cases, it can be permanent.

Your legs often look worse before they start to look better. Patience is the key to treatment!

Do spider veins cause leg pain?
Spider veins can sometimes itch, burn, or sting. Spider veins alone do not cause leg pain, cramping, or leg swelling.
Will insurance pay for spider vein treatment?
Unfortunately, no. Spider veins are considered a cosmetic concern by insurance standards and are therefore not a covered treatment.
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(865) 233-5858

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