Choosing Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

Spider veins making you self conscious about wearing shorts or swimwear? If that’s the case, you could consider sclerotherapy. This is just one of the treatments offered in a vein clinic like New Look Vein and Aesthetic Center. Under the direction of Dr. Raffi Krikorian, you can have a varicose vein treatment that can solve this problem.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Veins rely on muscle contractions and small flaps of tissue called valves to hep get blood back to the heart. As the muscles contract, they squeeze the veins, while the valves prevent blood from flowing backward. Unfortunately, those valves can fail, which allows blood to pool and distend the vein. Small veins are called spider veins and large veins are called varicose veins or varicosities, but in reality, they’re both the same thing – they just differ in size. varicose veins are one of the primary causes of venous disease.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment used by vein doctors and vascular surgeons to treat spider veins. It’s actually considered the gold standard for this condition. Performed in a doctor’s office or vein clinic, sclerotherapy is a simple outpatient procedure and usually takes less than an hour. The treatment is based on the concept that an irritated spider vein will swell, collapse and scar shut. The doctor injects an irritant solution into the vein and then applies compression bandages or stockings to help the vein seal closed. Most people with varicose or spider veins are good candidates for sclerotherapy.

Sclerotherapy – Different Types

There are actually three kinds of sclerotherapy. Traditional sclerotherapy relies on the irritant solution. Foam sclerotherapy uses medical solutions mixed with air to produce a creamy consistency. Foam can be used on larger, deeper varicose veins, not just spider veins. The foam can also be seen with an ultrasound device, so guided ultrasound sclerotherapy is used to find and treat deep, less visible veins. Foam also uses less medication per treatment, which allows treatment of a larger area with the same amount of treatment solution.

What’s the Procedure Like?

Sclerotherapy is actually a very simple procedure. The doctor will carefully cleanse the skin. Next, a very fine needle is used to inject the sclerotherapy solution into the vein. You might feel a burning or stinging sensation as the liquid is injected. The sensation usually goes away quickly. The spider veins swell and then collapse in response to the irritation from the solution. You should be able to go home shortly after the treatment and resume your normal activities within a day or so. You’ll need to wear compression stockings for a couple of weeks to help the veins scar closed.

Sclerotherapy is the vein treatment that can solve your spider vein problems. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for an assessment. We can answer any questions you might have. Be aware that sclerotherapy for spider veins is considered a cosmetic procedure by most insurance companies – we’ll help you work out a payment solution.

 

 

 

Why Doctors Recommend Sclerotherapy

Among treatments for spider and varicose veins, sclerotherapy has remained popular for decades.  Vein doctors continue to recommend this procedure to address medical and cosmetic concerns by eliminating these unwanted blood vessels.

Why Vascular Surgeons Advise This Procedure

This technique stands somewhere in the middle of types of vascular treatment.  It remains the primary treatment for spider veins and is also a varicose vein treatment under certain circumstances.

On the one end of the spectrum are conservative treatments such as losing weight and wearing compression stockings.  At the other end is vein surgery.  The use of sclerosing agents falls between these two.  According the Mayo Clinic, it represents a fairly safe procedure with few complications.

Since vascular surgeons administer this treatment at a vein clinic on an outpatient basis, the procedure is much more convenient for patients than surgery is.  Compared to vein surgery, it is a minimally invasive option.

Injections used solve both cosmetic and health problems.  They improve a patient’s appearance by getting rid of spider and varicose veins.  They can also reduce symptoms like swelling, burning, aching, and cramping.  The procedure might be done alone or in combination with other treatments.

The University of Wisconsin Health indicates that the most common reasons why doctors recommend this procedure include:

  • Spider veins or small varicose veins not causing serious problems
  • Small varicose veins that return after vein stripping
  • Some larger varicose veins

At an initial consultation, a vein doctor will determine whether a patient is a good candidate for use of a sclerosant.  Among issues that disqualify an individual are pregnancy or recent delivery.

How This Vein Treatment Works

Vein doctors perform this procedure using a very fine needle to inject a special substance known as a sclerosant or sclerosing agent into a targeted vein.  Sclerosants are either liquids or foam.  Many practitioners today use a technique that combines ultrasound to locate deeper problem veins with sclerosants injected by catheters, usually when problem vessels are in the legs.

The University of Wisconsin Health reports that injecting the sclerosant into each targeted vein takes between 5 and 30 minutes.  The time required depends on how many blood vessels need treatment and how large they are.

The sclerosing agent irritates the walls of the vein, causing them to stick to each other.  Eventually, the vessel closes off and is no longer visible.  Healthy nearby veins assume the workload of the eliminated vessel.

After treatment, patients wear compression stockings for a specified period.  The procedure works well for around 80 percent of those who undergo it.  Sometimes patients require multiple sessions to achieve desired results.

It is important for individuals considering this option to realize that no treatment for spider or varicose veins can prevent new vessels from forming.  Because of this, many patients return periodically for additional treatment.