Sclerotherapy is a procedure that can reduce the appearance of spider veins and reticular veins. Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting the problem vein with a sclerosing agent that irritates the vein lining, causing it to constrict. Over time the vein fades as it is naturally reabsorbed by the body. This redirects blood flow to other, healthier, veins located deeper beneath the surface skin. The procedure is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons. Patients should have an in-office consult prior to scheduling to determine if the veins in question are good treatment candidates for sclerotherapy. The procedure itself takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia.
The Sclerotherapy treatment is one of the safest and most effective treatments available for treating varicose and spider veins. This method of treatment has been used for over 20 years and is also known as Ultra-Sound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy. Dr Sasan Azar is our specialist in this field, and performs these procedures at our clinic; he has had more than 25 years experience in Sclerotherapy, and is a Board Certified Radiologist.
Sclerotherapy can eliminate large veins, either alone, or in conjunction with less invasive out patient surgery. Sclerotherapy is the recommended treatment for smaller accessory veins to prevent their deterioration into larger bulging veins and of course is without parallel and most effective in the treatment of leg spider veins.
Prior to treatment, an initial consultation is required so the Doctor can assess your veins, he uses a Doppler scan to locate the origin of the vein and assess the severity of the veins, at the consultation he will also recommend the most suitable treatment for your condition and give you an estimate of how many treatments you may require.
Thousands of people every year consider getting treatment for varicose veins and spider veins.
Varicose veins are visible and bulging veins often associated with symptoms such as tired, heavy, or aching legs. In severe cases, Varicose Veins can rupture, or cause ulcers. Varicose veins are most common in the legs and thighs but can sometimes be found in the groin.
"Spider Veins" are thread like veins that appear on the skin's surface. These may look like "starburst" clusters or a web-like maze. Spider veins are most common in the thighs, ankles and feet. They may also appear on the face and nose.
The causes of varicose and spider veins are not entirely understood. In some instances, the absence or weakness of valves in the veins allow the backward flow of blood away from the heart. This causes a build up of pressure in the veins resulting in outbursts of spider veins or bulging varicose veins. Less commonly, varicose veins are caused by diseases such as phlebitis or congenital abnormalities of the veins. Venous disease is generally progressive and cannot always be entirely prevented. However, in some cases wearing support hosiery and maintaining normal weight and regular exercise may be beneficial. Hormones, family history and long periods of standing are also thought to cause varicose veins.
Larger varicose veins can occur on their own or can underline spider veins. In most cases the varicose veins should be treated before spider veins. Sclerotherapy uses a fine needle to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing collapse of the inner lining and ultimately the vein. The vein turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Following the injection of the solution into the vein, it is important to apply compression such as bandages or stockings to the treated leg. This causes the collapsed vein wall to stick together and seal shut.
The microinjections are hardly felt and are virtually painless. The injected solution can cause a mild sting for several seconds, and the treated veins, if large, may feel a little sore for several days.
Injection sclerotherapy is a very safe procedure with very little risk. The treating doctor will discuss this with you in detail
In the large majority of patients, once the veins have sealed (sclerosed) the result is permanent.
Depending on the underlying causes of the veins, new veins may form over time, that will require further treatment.
Some patients may require ongoing maintenance of 1 - 2 treatments each year for recurring spider veins (just as regular haircuts are required for growing hair).
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