Traditional SclerotherapyThe treatment of choice for spider veins and small varicose veins.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy, also referred to as Injection Sclerotherapy or Traditional Sclerotherapy, remains the treatment of choice today for spider veins and small varicose veins. A solution (sclerosant) is injected into the vein, causing it to shrink and stick together.
It is an extremely safe and effective procedure, making it one of the more common treatments for minimal vein disorders. Sclerotherapy procedures have been used since the 1930’s. The treatment typically takes less than an hour to complete and is done in the AVLC office.
AVLC Sclerotherapy Video featuring Dr. Heird
How does Sclerotherapy work?
During the Sclerotherapy Procedure
Our AVLC doctors use image guidance state-of-the-art-technology, the VeinViewer, to assist in his treatments, allowing treatments to be simpler, faster and more complete. The smallest of needles is inserted directly into the vein(s). The number of injections will depend on the size and how many veins are being treated.
There is minimal pain on injection, with some experiencing a very minor stinging. A foaming solution technique (Foam Sclerotherapy), with FDA approved sodium tetradecyl or Asclera is used. The chemical solution irritates the lining of the vessel causing it to swell and stick together, blocking the flow of blood. Some of the veins, over time, shrink. The colored (red, blue) appearance of the veins will fade or disappear.
After the Procedure
Following the procedure, the treated leg(s) are wrapped with a compression wrap or stocking (cotton, ace, sponge, and/or coban) for 3-5 days for cosmetic treatment or 7-10 days for a large vein that was treated. This compression holds the vein together.
A follow up appointment will be scheduled 2-3 weeks after a treatment session to recheck the treated area and possible evacuation (removal) of small hematomas (trapped blood) in the vein. This will help to enhance the treatment.
What type of results can I expect from Sclerotherapy?
Most veins will lighten and/or disappear. Upon the first treatment 60%-70% will disappear, 25%-30% will fade; 10%-15% will not change. Sclerotherapy DOES NOT yield perfect results. Improvement usually occurs, but perfection is rarely achieved. As long as you expect improvement and not perfection, you should be satisfied. Full results will not been seen for 4-8 weeks.
Are the results permanent?
The effect on the treated veins is usually permanent in the majority of cases. However, new areas of veins can develop over time. Sclerotherapy treats the problem at the time of the procedure. It does not prevent new veins from showing up in other areas.
What are the side effects of Sclerotherapy?
Certain side effects may be experienced after a Sclerotherapy treatment. Larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving. Raised red areas may appear at the injection sites and should disappear within a few days. Brown lines or a spot (hyperpigmentation) on the skin may be noted at the site of injection, possibly caused by a form of iron that escapes from the injected veins. In most cases, they disappear within 3-6 months, but can be permanent about 5 percent of the time. Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks. Your legs will look worse before they look better.
How many treatments will I need?
An AVLC Doctor will perform a thorough evaluation of your veins. At that time, we will give you an estimate of sessions needed to obtain your goal. Occasionally areas may need additional re-treatment or “touch ups”.
We will work with you to make you happy, as long as you understand the limitations of the procedure. Everyone’s veins react differently. If you expect perfection, Sclerotherapy may not be a good fit for you. If you have a realistic goal of improvement, you should be happy.
Will my insurance cover Sclerotherapy?
Typically, treatment of spider veins and reticular veins (blue veins) are considered a cosmetic treatment and therefore insurance companies WILL NOT cover the treatment. At the time of your consultation, Dr. Heird and/or Dr. Winand will determine if your vein treatment is cosmetic or medically necessary.
REQUEST A CONSULTATION
Suffering from small varicose veins or spider veins? Request your consultation today to see if Sclerotherapy is the right treatment for you.
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