Do you have annoying visible thin veins on your legs or ankles that make you feel self-conscious? These are more than likely Spider Veins. Sclerotherapy is a treatment using a tiny needle to inject a solution called sclerosant into the veins, irritating the lining of the veins, causing them to close. Sclerotherapy is also used to treat both varicose and spider veins that are seen on the surface of the leg. Problematic larger superficial veins (called varicose veins) are typically “ropey” and visible just below the surface of the skin. Spider veins are more superficial. Sclerotherapy can help relieve symptoms due to both varicose and spider veins.
The treatment for simply cosmetic Spider Veins is very simple. Veins are injected with sclerosant, and they close over time. Multiple treatments are usually necessary to make sure veins completely close.
Veins That Are More Than Superficial
If venous insufficiency is found and the veins have varicosities, once the underlying problems are treated in the refluxing saphenous vein with an EVLT, the remaining branches below the skin are treated. Some deep branches are best treated with sclerotherapy performed with ultrasound guidance.
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is done with either a liquid or “foamed” sclerosant while Dr. Wright monitors the vein on an ultrasound screen. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy enables treatment of unseen veins below the surface of the skin otherwise requiring surgical removal. With this procedure, veins can be dealt with at an early stage, helping to prevent further complications.
The last step is treating the superficial veins in top most layer of the skin, often called “spider veins.” Spider veins are caused by dilation of the most superficial veins in the skin. A vein light is often used for these tiny veins to illuminate hidden vessels that feed the spider veins. This ensures a more complete and accurate treatment. Visual Sclerotherapy of spider veins is usually considered cosmetic. Most insurance will not cover this last type of treatment.
It often takes several sclerotherapy treatments to close a vein completely. One of the major advantages of sclerotherapy is that it is able to treat veins of many different sizes. However it often take two or three treatments on a given vein to achieve a long lasting closure resulting in the eventual disappearance of the vein. Each sclerotherapy injection can only close small section of a vein at a time. Often a part of the closed segment of the vein will recannulate or reopen making it necessary for the vein to be treated again. It can be hard to predict how many treatments it will take to completely eliminate the vein, but the treatment is very effective for this issue.