Are you unhappy with the appearance of spider or reticular veins on your legs or feet? If this sounds like you, we have an effective treatment option to help diminish your self-consciousness. Sclerotherapy is a proven treatment option to collapse these pesky veins, for an overall improvement in your comfort.
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment option to improve the appearance of varicose, reticular and spider veins. It involves injecting a solution into the small veins, which forces the blood to be redirected to unaffected veins. The lining of the veins then swell and stick together. Over time, the veins will then collapse and be reabsorbed by the body.
While this treatment option mainly targets the appearance of veins, it can also improve vein-related symptoms such as:
Cramping at night.
Who is a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Healthy adults who are bothered by the appearance of their spider, reticular or varicose veins can often benefit from sclerotherapy. This treatment can also be a good option for those who are living with painful veins. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to wait to have this treatment done. A consultation appointment with Dr. Gray at our Bellevue, WA office is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Dr. Gray will refer you to a vascular surgeon if you have varicose veins that need to be treated.
The Sclerotherapy Treatment
On the day of your treatment, we will begin by marking the veins to be treated. The targeted area will be cleansed, and a fine needle will be slowly inserted into the vein. A solution will be administered, which will irritate the vein and cause it to swell shut, blocking blood flow. The vein will eventually disappear. While treatment is not painful, you may experience slight itching, stingng or cramping when the solution is administered into the vein. Once the targeted veins are treated; a compression hose will be applied and must be worn daily for two weeks. The number of injections needed will depend on the number and size of the veins being treated.
For treatment of small spider or reticular varicose veins, results can usually be seen after 3-6 weeks. While veins that are treated do not usually reappear, new veins may become visible over time.
Following your sclerotherapy treatment, you may experience temporary bruising or a darkening of the pigment where the veins were treated. Exercise must be avoided for 24 hours, but following this you can return to regular activities. You will be asked to wear compression stockings for a couple of weeks, and movement is important to prevent the formation of superficial blood clots.
Will my diet affect my varicose veins?
If you already have varicose veins, adopting a healthier diet can reduce discomfort, throbbing, and foot or leg swelling associated with these veins. A healthy diet to reduce varicose vein symptoms will include foods low in salt, as salty foods cause water retention, which causes your veins to work harder to circulate blood
Who is at the highest risk of developing varicose veins?
The majority of people who develop varicose veins are individuals between the ages of 40 and 80. Genetics plays a big role in who gets varicose veins. Women are more likely to develop them than men. Pregnancy can also lead to varicose veins, as added body weight can add pressure to the legs.
Can spider veins turn into varicose veins?
No, spider veins cannot turn into varicose veins over time. Spider veins and reticulr veins are much smaller and more superficial. Many patients have all three types of veins.
Are compressions stockings actually an effective treatment?
Compression stockings may provide some symptom relief and help prevent vein disease from progressing. However, they will not eliminate varicose veins if you already have them.
If I have varicose veins, should I change how I exercise?
If you have varicose veins, it is advised that you do low-impact cardio or weight-bearing exercises. Walking and biking are great low impact exercises that specifically fous on building up calf muscles. Also prolonged sitting is not good for varicose veins so flexing ankes and taking frequent short walks is recommended..
Will one procedure eliminate my varicose veins?
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment option for varicose veins. This should be done under ultrasound giuidance therefore cardiovascular surgeons typically perform this procedure. Most people will need about 2-4 treatments to see optimal results when treating varicose veins. Recurrence is also common so maintenance treatments are often required. Sclerotherapy of spider and reticular veins can be performed by a dermatologist.
What will happen if I leave my varicose veins untreated?
If varicose veins are left untreated, they may continue to become worse over time which can lead to pain and/or swelling in the legs.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
To diagnose varicose veins, your doctor may recommend a test called a venous doppler ultrasound of the leg. This noninvasive test uses sound waves to look at blood flow throughout the valves in the legs.
What Is Sclerotherapy and How Does It Work?
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a special solution directly into the vein. This causes the vein lining to become inflamed and to close off and scar.
What Happens When a Varicose Vein is removed By Treatment?
When a varicose vein is removed, it will not affect the blood supply to the legs because the blood is redirected to deeper, healthier veins.