Sclerotherapy is a medical treatment used for making spider veins, varicose veins and teleangectasia less noticeable. During a typical sclerotherapy session the Doctor injects a solution inside the abnormal or unwanted veins with the purpose of reducing their appearance. Veins fade and become less noticeable after 3 or more treatments spaced 3-6 weeks apart. Before sclerotherapy, an accurate history and physical exam are obtained to rule out contraindications and set realistic expectations. Injections are usually very well tolerated, as we use the finest needles. The solution might be injected as a foam (foam sclerotherapy), depending on the case, and veins will fade over time.
We use Asclera (Polidocanol), a very effective FDA-approved sclerotherapy agent which has been available in the world for over 50 years. The medication comes in sterile, single-use vials in the 0.5 and 1% concentrations and is not painful. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is generally performed with lower concentrations and volumes due to the smaller diameter of the veins. Foam sclerotherapy is more effective than liquid sclerotherapy.
AT LEAST 3 SESSONS ARE OFTEN RECOMMENDED TO OBTAIN VISIBLE RESULTS
Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. It is injected into veins to cause a reaction, which causes varicose veins to shrink. It is like an inflammatory reaction that obliterates and closes the vein. You need a few sessions spaced a few weeks apart to make it work. We do not expect them to disappear after only one session, and they actually might look worse right after. It is important to remember how the process works to appreciate the results.
Just receiving one session is not going to be effective; in order to be successful, you have to repeat the process several times over a few weeks (3 or more depending on the case). We don't expect immediate results after each treatment, as it will take several weeks for the veins to fade. Veins are injected at standard doses and concentrations, but each patient's body is different, so the results vary.
It takes 15 to 45 minutes for a sclerotherapy session. Once the drug is injected into the veins, a compression stocking or bandage is applied on the treated leg. Since the needles are so small, it is not usually painful, but each patient is different and we take all measures to make the procedure comfortable.
This technique works well for varicose veins, and spider veins, especially in the mid-term. It's possible to get small bruises at the injection sites if blood extravasates under the skin. It usually takes two to three weeks for these spots to go away. Let your doctor know if you're allergic to sclerotherapy.
Venous disease doesn't have a definitive cure, so sclerotherapy aims to eliminate what's visible, not treat it definitively. Eventually, patients need "tweaks" or new sessions which, in most cases, keep the problem at bay. In about 2/3 of patients treated with the procedure, varicose veins recur after 3-7 years. This might mean repeating the treatment or trying something else.
Despite being generally safe, there are some risks, including blood clots and allergic reactions. Sclerotherapy can't be done on people with certain drug allergies, patients with recent phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis, and pregnant women. Patients who have trouble walking and take certain medications are more likely to get phlebitis.
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EAST VEIN CENTER
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