Understanding Sclerotherapy

Doctors at CF Vein's The Villages location performing a Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy for painful leg veins.

When you think of varicose vein treatment, do you think back to the painful days of vein stripping? Vein stripping could be painful and required general anesthesia, and it risked tearing nearby veins in the process. Treatment has come a long way! If you have varicose veins that are affecting your confidence and day-to-day comfort, you could be a candidate for sclerotherapy.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Did you know that sclerotherapy has been in use since the 1930s? This form of treatment is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of spider veins. It’s also utilized as a follow-up for any small, visible veins that remain after endovenous laser treatment. A specialist will first use an ultrasound or veinlite to target the vein and then take a very fine, thin needle to inject a sclerosing agent into it. The agent causes the vessels to scar and become less visible, and over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.

Forms of Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy

This simple, minimally invasive procedure is unique! When the agent is injected into the vein, foam pushes the blood out of the way and displaces it in the vein; the foam is not diluted by blood, which allows it to directly touch the endothelium, or the one-cell-thick wall lining the vein. The agent causes a chemical reaction, and the vein shrinks and collapses. The body absorbs that vein, and you can enjoy varicose vein-free legs without any scarring.

Spider Vein Sclerotherapy

Spider vein sclerotherapy is quick and easy. A specialist inserts a sclerosing agent into the vein, causing the vein to become inflamed. There is minimal pain associated with the procedure; the needle feels like a light pinprick. After healing, the vein is less visible! It is important to note that spider vein sclerotherapy does not remove the vein itself — it only diminishes its appearance.

Veinlite Sclerotherapy

Similar to the other forms of sclerotherapy, veinlite sclerotherapy starts with a physician injecting a sclerosing agent, often polidocanol, into the affected vein. In comparison to ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, which targets deeper veins, veinlite allows the specialist to target veins closer to the skin’s surface; in particular, feeder vessels. They are located 4-8 mm from the spider vein, and while they aren’t visible to the human eye, they are causing the spider veins. Through veinlite sclerotherapy, the vein itself is not removed, but the appearance is greatly diminished.

varicose vein ultrasound

Common Sclerotherapy Questions

Are There Certain Things To Avoid Before or After Sclerotherapy?

Yes, your doctor will typically provide you with a list of items to avoid both before and after sclerotherapy. These items may consist of:

  • Lotion
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Antibiotics

Are There Common Complications With Sclerotherapy?

It is not uncommon to run into some minor complications after sclerotherapy. These minor complications may consist of:

  • Pain or itchiness at the injection site
  • Headaches
  • Bruising

While rare, there can be more serious complications as well such as:

Is Sclerotherapy Painful?

While minor discomfort can occur, most patients report minimal to no pain after sclerotherapy treatment.

Is Sclerotherapy Permanent?

Sclerotherapy results are permanent. Once your varicose or spider veins collapse and are reabsorbed by your body, they will not come back.

Is This Treatment For Me?

Sclerotherapy is generally a minor, minimally invase procedure to correct troublesome veins. But ultimately, the only way you will know if this is right for you is by scheduling a consultation with a professional. They will be able to properly assess your vein health with a diagnostic exam, and together you can determine the best option for you to move forward.

Contact CF Vein TodayLearn more

If you’re currently suffering from leg pain, our board-certified and fellowship-trained vascular surgeons are here to help. We’re dedicated to providing the best vein treatment possible, and we make sure that you’re comfortable with and knowledgeable about your treatment. From the initial phone call to scheduling a consultation all the way through to any post-treatment follow-up appointments, your care is our top priority. Schedule a consultation with the best vein specialists in Orlando today! Call us at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547.

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