Sclerotherapy is a form of treatment where a doctor injects medicine into blood vessels or lymph vessels that causes them to shrink. It is commonly used to treat varicose veins or so-called spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is most often used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are also known as chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins occur when the veins swell and bulge, usually in the legs. This is due to weak vein walls that, in turn, weaken the vein valves. As a result, blood pools up the veins, causing them to swell and look different.
Varicose veins may be painful and can cause skin issues, including rashes. By shrinking the veins, sclerotherapy reduces the effects of vein damage, making varicose veins less visible and less painful.
Sclerotherapy is also used to treat some other conditions, including:
Malformed lymph vessels. These are vessels that carry lymphatic fluid or lymph, which helps the immune system fight infections.
Hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy may be used when other treatments fail. Hemorrhoids occur when blood vessels, surrounding the rectum, swell and become irritated, causing pain and making bowel movements uncomfortable.
HydrocelesTrusted Source. A hydrocele is an unhealthy development of fluid in a body cavity. Hydroceles are common in the testicles.
WHAT CAUSES varicose VEINS?
Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them. Approximately half of the people who get varicose veins have a family history of them.
Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of the American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of developing varicose veins.
Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within 3 to 12 months following delivery.
Overweight and obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart.
Other possible causes for varicose veins are race, posture, occupation, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and incompetent perforating veins.
Who is a good candidate for sclerotherapy/vein treatment?
Spider veins and varicose veins can be present in both men and women. Risk factors for spider and varicose veins include family history, excess weight, pregnancy, and prolonged standing or sitting. The incidence of spider and varicose veins usually increases with age, although in some cases, these dilated veins can develop as early as the teenage years. Sclerotherapy is an excellent treatment option for most people with spider and varicose veins. In certain cases, We may recommend different treatment options for particular varicose veins. Pregnant or nursing women, as well as people with certain medical conditions, are not good candidates for sclerotherapy.
What should I expect during sclerotherapy/vein treatment?
Sclerotherapy is performed on an outpatient basis in our Medical Spa. The procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of veins to be treated. During the procedure, Our Practitioner will use an ultra-fine needle to inject the sclerosing agent into the affected veins.
Most patients tolerate the procedure easily, and no anesthesia is needed.
What should I expect after sclerotherapy/vein treatment?
Compression tape will be applied to the leg immediately after the procedure, and you will be advised to wear a tight-fitting support hose for 2 weeks after treatment. You will be advised to walk frequently and avoid prolonged standing or sitting. You can resume most of your normal activities immediately, although strenuous activity should be avoided for the first 2 weeks. Your legs may appear bruised or discolored at the injection sites, which typically resolves within a month after treatment.*
What kind of results can I expect from sclerotherapy/vein treatment?
Most patients experience outstanding results from sclerotherapy, reporting that their legs appear younger, clearer, and healthier. Most treated veins will fade within 6 weeks after treatment. Although treated veins will not reemerge, it’s important to understand that new veins may develop in the future.
How many treatments will I need?
Treated veins will appear lighter after each treatment. The number of treatments depends on the size of the blood vessels. Many veins respond to one treatment, but in certain cases, two or more sessions may be required to achieve the best results.