Results of a recent trial suggest that a new option for treating spider veins performs as well as or better than traditional therapies.
According to the study, 41% of women over the age of 50 have spider veins on the lower limbs. Sclerotherapy is a common treatment and relatively low in cost, but it can have adverse effects. Though the complication rate for laser treatment is lower than that of sclerotherapy, efficacy is not as good.
With that in mind, plastic surgeon Kenna S. Given, M.D., Augusta, Ga., developed a device designed specifically for treating spider veins. Called the Given Needle, it’s a micro-needle with an insulated shaft and an exposed beveled tip, which is inserted into a handpiece connected to a mono-polar electrical generator. The needle is introduced through the skin into or on the spider vein and a low-voltage current applied.
In the study, Dr. Given and his colleagues recruited 30 female patients with spider veins who ranged in age from 32 to 67 (average age 43). All were treated with one pass of the Given Needle. Mean follow-up time was six months.
Results show that spider veins resolved by more than 70% in 20 of the 30 patients. The most common complications were skin erythema, which developed in 15 patients, and bruising, which occurred in 13 patients. These complications all resolved in two to three weeks.
“My desire was to give plastic surgeons the opportunity to treat spider veins in a safe and economical manner,” Dr. Given tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “The instrument’s most important innovation is an insulated needle with a non-insulated bevel tip. This allows plastic surgeons to obliterate spider veins utilizing low voltage, thus eliminating scarring. It is a cost effective treatment giving the surgeons and patients a definitive end point. That is, the vein disappears on contact.”
Dr. Given is president of Spider Vein Solutions, which owns the patent and markets the needle, and is professor emeritus at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.