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 St. Louis Vein & Endovascular. 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.
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 stocking to help the vein seal closed. Sclerotherapy can also be used on some larger varicose veins.
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.