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What You Need To Know About Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins

September 6, 2018

If you’re constantly avoiding throwing on a pair of shorts at the gym or for a backyard barbecue because of varicose or spider veins—you’re not alone. About half the population has a venous disease. But you’ll be happy to hear that sclerotherapy for varicose veins is a great treatment option.

If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to several health concerns that could cause you more discomfort than fear of showing your legs n the summertime. Varicose veins stretch your skin, making it very thin and more susceptible to injury and bleeding. They can also cause blood clots.

So, before your varicose veins or spider veins become a bigger problem, let’s take a look how sclerotherapy for varicose veins can help you.

Why You Might Need Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are superficial, meaning they lie just beneath your skin. Some of the signs of varicose veins include:

  • Lumpy appearance
  • Purple or blue in color
  • Swollen and bulging outward T
  • Found on calves or on inner leg

Varicose veins develop for reasons like:

  • Poor Circulation
  • Age
  • Pregnancy

Other risk factors for varicose veins are living a sedentary lifestyle, multiple pregnancies, smoking, and family history.

In addition to their unsightly appearance, varicose veins can be painful.

Varicose Veins Infographic

Why You Might Need Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

A milder form of varicose veins is known as spider veins. That’s because they look a bit like a spider’s web underneath the skin. These small purple, blue or red veins can form on different parts of your body, including:

  • Thigh
  • Ankle
  • Face

Some of the things that can cause spider veins include:

  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight
  • Occupations
  • Prolonged sitting or standing
  • Medications

Spider veins are common but don't cause any health problems.

What is Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins?

If conservative methods, like wearing compressions stockings, don’t get your varicose vein pain under control, your vein specialist may recommend sclerotherapy treatment.

Sclerotherapy is a procedure that uses a sclerosing solution that is injected into the unwanted vein. The solution causes the vein to shrink and dissolve over time. This makes the vein less noticeable.

The type of solution varies and could be one of the following:

  • Ethanol
  • SoretradecolTM
  • Ethanolamine

The procedure is minimally invasive, typically takes 15-30 minutes to complete and is often covered by insurance because varicose veins are recognized as a medical condition. For larger veins a foam sclerosant may be used. It has also been found to be a safe and effective way to treat varicose veins. But again, it depends on the size of the vein.

The side effects of sclerotherapy are minimal and can include:

  • Temporary swelling around the injected vein
  • Pain from the injection
  • Localized hives

You could also see some raised red areas, have an allergic reaction or see brown lines or spots on your leg from hyperpigmentation. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help with any pain you may experience.

You will be required to do a follow up visit, or two to make sure the vein in your leg is reacting properly to the procedure and that there are no additional issues forming in the blood vessel.

As you can see, sclerotherapy appears to be a good vein treatment for many people with varicose or spider veins. If you’re dealing with them, at least talk to your doctor about your options, especially if you’ve already tried conservative methods.

North Ohio Heart - Varicose Vein Overview

If you want to learn more about varicose veins and how people treat them, watch our video: “What You Need to Know About Varicose Vein Pain.” You’ll hear the stories of three people who had enough of the pain and swelling their varicose veins were causing them, so they finally did something about it.