Which Sclerotherapy is Right for You?

January 7, 2017

Which Sclerotherapy is Right For YouSclerotherapyis one of the oldest treatments used for spider and varicose veins, but its safety and efficacy continue to make it one of the most popular for doctors and patients alike. This injectable therapy has been modified over the years to allow for greater versatility in treating a broader range of visible vessels. The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers both cosmetic sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy to provide all of our patients with the treatments necessary to meet their specific needs.

Say Goodbye to Spider Veins

Spider veins are the visible networks of red and blue lines that commonly occur on the legs. These networks get their name because they can resemble the legs on a spider or a spider’s web in terms of their pattern. Like varicose veins, spider veins can be caused by an underlying vein disorder known as venous insufficiency. However, they can also be due to sun exposure, trauma to the skin, hormonal fluctuations or heredity.

Spider veins are rarely a serious medical issue, but they can be a significant cosmetic concern. These small networks can often be effectively addressed using cosmetic sclerotherapy.

How does cosmetic sclerotherapy work?

Cosmetic sclerotherapy involves injections of a liquid sclerosing agent directly into the visible vessels. The solution seals the vein closed so it collapses and is eventually reabsorbed by the body. The vein disappears from view, while blood naturally reroutes to healthy veins nearby.

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a quick outpatient procedure that does not require any anesthesia. Patients report slight burning when the solution goes into the vein, but find the procedure to be very tolerable. Most return to regular activities immediately following their sclerotherapy procedure.

Eliminate Unsightly, Uncomfortable Varicose Veins

Varicose veins tend to be larger than spider veins and typically appear behind the knees and up the lower leg. These veins may also be blue or purple in hue, although many are also flesh-colored. The veins may protrude from the skin’s surface and look like winding ropes snaking up the leg. These swollen vessels are often caused by venous insufficiency, which can worsen if it is left unchecked.

In addition to their unattractive appearance, these veins can cause pain, cramping and swelling in the lower extremity. Advanced cases may also lead to skin changes and the formation of skin ulcerations around the ankle. For this reason, it is usually recommended to treat varicose veins before these complications appear.

How does foam sclerotherapy work?

Smaller varicose veins can often be treated using a special technique known as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. This procedure is similar to cosmetic sclerotherapy in that a solution is injected directly into the affected vein. However, the solution used is a much thicker foam formulation that more effectively coats larger vessels to seal them closed so they can be eliminated by the body.

Ultrasound imaging is used during the procedure to locate the vessel and ensure the foam fully displaces the blood and coats the vein lining. The procedure can be used alone or in conjunction with endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), which treats larger varicose veins while foam sclerotherapy addresses smaller tributary veins that can be contributing to the problem.

Dr. Jimenez at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin is experienced in both of these sclerotherapy techniques and can help you determine which procedure will work best for your specific needs. The procedures are quick and relatively painless, while the results are long-lasting. To learn more about your options in sclerotherapy, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346.