The American College of Phlebology confirms that sclerotherapy is the gold-standard treatment for small to moderate-sized leg veins. When deciding which treatment is best for your varicose and/or spider veins, consider these facts:
Advantages of sclerotherapy
- 95% of procedures are covered by insurance
- Results are long lasting and highly successful
- Can be used to treat larger varicose veins
- Can be performed on patients with any skin type or color
External laser treatments can’t compare to scelerotherapy
The bottom line is that you cannot effectively treat an internal condition affecting your veins as thoroughly with an external treatment as you can with injections or laser ablation.
Cons of external topical lasers:
- Topical lasers are almost never covered by insurance
- Skin discoloration and burn marks can occur
- External laser treatment is often painful and offers lower rate of success
- After treatment, skin is sensitive to sun exposure
- Topical lasers cannot be used to treat larger veins
- Topical lasers cannot be used on patients with dark skin color
What is sclerotherapy?
Once you have been evaluated at Circulatory Centers and your condition has been properly diagnosed, your physician will discuss treatment options with you. For many patients, the best course of treatment may be a 20 minute in-office procedure involving a series of sclerotherapy injections into the target vein.
Sclerotherapy works by injecting a small amount of medication into the damaged vein. This sclerosing agent will create a minor inflammatory reaction inside the vein, causing it to collapse. Our bodies are smart! By eliminating the damaged vein, which will ultimately be absorbed naturally by the body, blood flow will actually improve as the body re-routes the blood through healthy veins. This procedure is perfect for smaller veins, and when performed early, future complications associated with larger varicose veins can be avoided.
Don’t I need these veins?
One of the most common questions asked by our patients at Circulatory Centers is, Don t I need these veins even though they re damaged? The answer is, NO, you don t need them. You have miles of superficial veins in your leg, and a person with spider veins is experiencing issues is only a small portion. Your body is already working to redirect the venous blood flow in your legs through the miles of good veins. When we treat your spider veins to alleviate the backward pressure and incorrect flow, your circulation will improve!
What to expect with treatment
Every patient’s condition is unique. Some patients may require more than one session, and each session can consist of more than one injection. Your treatment plan is customized for your specific needs.
Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following the procedure. Medically-prescribed support hose known as a compression stocking may need to be worn for several days after treatment. You will be encouraged to walk regularly during this time, although intense aerobic activity should be avoided for the first few days. The side effects are nearly non-existent with the exception of minor bruising and pigmentation at the injection sites, coupled with a slight itching sensation. Bruising typically disappears within one to two weeks. Although pigmentation almost always fades, it may take several months. Because the sclerosing solution actually closes the feeder veins under the skin that are causing spider veins to form, a recurrence of the spider veins in the treated area is not likely.
Preparing for sclerotherapy treatment
- Avoid applying lotion to the legs before the procedure.
- Certain medications should also be avoided. Some physicians recommend avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48-72 hours before sclerotherapy. Your Circulatory Centers professional will discuss all your medications including over the counter drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements you are taking.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Drink plenty of water the day before and day of treatment.
Sclerotherapy should be considered a long-term safe and effective solution to eliminate small varicose and spider veins. The healthier and more beautiful legs you deserve are just a phone call away.