Varicose veins are not only uncomfortable — they also pose the risk of more serious complications. Fortunately, minimally invasive procedures like sclerotherapy can help treat and eliminate them entirely.
Over 30 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. Venous disease — the underlying cause behind varicose and spider veins — can be the result of both genetics and lifestyle. For instance, people with a medical history of blood clots and people who stand for extended periods of time at work are often more prone to developing varicose veins. Obesity, hormonal changes, and certain kinds of injuries can also increase your risk.
While some patients don’t experience uncomfortable symptoms, varicose veins often cause aches, cramps, or burning and tingling sensations. Fatigue and a feeling of heaviness are two other commonly reported symptoms associated with varicose veins.
The good news is that you can treat both spider and varicose veins with quick, minimally invasive procedures. There are many options available, but one of the most popular and effective treatments is called sclerotherapy.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the process of using tiny needles to inject medication into spider and varicose veins. When the medication — typically a sclerosing agent like polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, or a hypertonic saline solution — comes in contact with the affected veins, the walls become irritated and close. This redirects the blood flow into healthy veins, while the ones that have been treated with medication gradually scar over and are reabsorbed by the body. In addition to making varicose veins less visible, this also reduces the discomfort the veins cause.
When treating larger varicose veins, in order to ensure that the sclerosing agent makes contact with the vein walls, the medication may be combined with air to create a foam that is then injected into the vein and has the same effect. This allows surgeons to perform safe treatments for different types of spider and varicose veins — with some studies showing that up to 83 percent of patients who receive sclerotherapy report reduced pain and discomfort.
What Should You Expect After Sclerotherapy?
Because sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, the vast majority of patients will be able to return to their daily activities immediately following treatment. Some people experience cramping or stinging during the procedure, and may experience bruises, discomfort, or swelling afterward, but these side effects should fade within a few days. While it varies from person to person, it’s also not uncommon for patients to need more than one sclerotherapy treatment, or a combination of treatments, to completely remove large or stubborn varicose veins.
At Siragusa Vein & Laser, we take pride in ensuring that each of our patients understands their treatment options so that we can reach the most informed and effective decision. We do a comprehensive set of diagnostic tests prior to recommending any course of treatment, thereby ensuring that we fully understand your vascular health and can give you the best advice for your situation. Contact us today to schedule your free vein screening.