Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical therapy. It is used to treat varicose veins and spider vein diseases. It is a minimally invasive procedure about injecting a solution called a sclerosant, directly into the damaged vein. The sclerosant irritates the blood vessel, causing it to shrink and eventually collapse, thereby re-routing the blood into other healthier veins. Eventually, the collapsed vein scars and fades away.
To understand this procedure better, here are some answers to the top 10 most frequently asked questions about sclerotherapy.
Spider veins are a web-like cluster of small red or purple-colored veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. Spider veins occur when the valves inside the vein start malfunctioning, causing the blood to subsequently pool inside the vein.
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure used to treat spider veins and varicose veins. As explained above, a solution is injected into the damaged vein, causing the flow of blood to cut off as it shrinks. Once the vein has collapsed completely, the veins will scar and fade away. This process forces the blood to re-route itself into other healthy veins, getting rid of any spider or varicose veins. This therapy should not be applied to the face and hands.
When the sclerosant, an FDA approved sclerotherapy solution, is injected into the vein, it irritates the inner lining of the blood vessel. This causes the vessel to swell. This stops the blood flow or lymphatic fluid flow to the vessel, causing it to collapse and eventually get reabsorbed by the body.
Just like any other injection, the most you may feel is a slight prick when the needle is administered. The procedure does not typically require anesthesia, though a topical numbing agent can be applied at the patient’s request.
The procedure takes approximately 15-60 minutes, depending on how many veins need to be treated. The best part about sclerotherapy is that there is no recovery time afterward. You can get back to your regular routine immediately after the treatment. However, intense exercise should be avoided for a few days.
This will vary from individual to individual, depending on the number of veins that need treatment. For mild cases, 1-2 sessions between 3-4 week intervals may be sufficient. Typically, 2-4 sessions are recommended for optimum results.
Patients are recommended to wear compression garments following the sclerotherapy procedure. This helps minimize any bruising and speeds up the recovery process by maximizing the treatment results.
After the procedure, minimal side effects such as bruising, itchiness, swelling, skin discoloration, or redness around the injection site can be expected. However, these side effects are mild and gradually subside within a few weeks.
Although they are typically non-life-threatening, spider veins have the potential to cause aches, pain, discomfort, or burning sensations in the affected area. However, many wish to get them treated for cosmetic reasons.
Since sclerotherapy is mainly performed for cosmetic reasons, insurance companies do not offer coverage for it. However, our rates are very affordable and accessible to many of our clients, making our sclerotherapy treatment worth every dollar.
If you want to know more about varicose and spider vein treatment in Johns Creek, Roswell, Lawrenceville, and Cummings, contact our experts at the North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center today to schedule an appointment.