Whether your varicose or spider veins are causing you discomfort or are simply an eyesore you wish to treat before spring’s skirts and shorts make their annual appearance, sclerotherapy can help.
Here at North Shore Vein Center in New Hyde Park, New York, Dr. Mark Schwartz and our highly trained staff offer a wide range of minimally-invasive, innovative vein treatments using state-of-the-art equipment. Sclerotherapy is one example.
Varicose veins with their large, lumpy or twisted appearance look different than the smaller lines of spider veins or hand veins, but they are all caused by venous insufficiency. Veins return blood to the heart after it has delivered oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. In the case of these problem veins, however, the valves do not close properly and the blood can flow in the wrong direction or pool.
Treatment can depend on the size and severity of the veins in question. For smaller varicose veins, spider veins, and hand veins, Dr. Schwartz uses small needles to inject sodium tetradecyl sulfate (Sotradecol), which makes them collapse and fade over time.
For more significant varicose veins, he seals them by injecting a foamed sclerosant, sometimes with the aid of an ultrasound. It works when the foam’s chemical solution causes irritation to the blood vessel’s lining, making it collapse, stick together, and the blood to clot. Healthier veins take over returning the blood to the heart, and the scar tissue from the collapsed vein eventually fades.
Reasons for sclerotherapy
Many people choose sclerotherapy for cosmetic purposes in order to remove unsightly varicose, spider, or hand veins. Others do it to relieve discomfort, such as aching, swelling, burning, and cramps at night. The procedure is effective, less costly, and less painful than other options to treat the condition.
With the exception of pregnant women, almost everyone is a good candidate for sclerotherapy, including women taking birth control pills. If you have suffered from a blood clot previously, however, the decision will be made based on individual factors.
Procedure and recovery
Sclerotherapy is done in our office and is minimally invasive, almost painless, and relatively quick to perform. You will be able to drive yourself home following the procedure and continue with your usual daily activities. In order to encourage healing, you will be advised to wear compression hosiery and stay active by walking.
You should see an improvement in smaller veins in three to six weeks, while larger veins can take three to four months to respond to treatment. Once a vein fades away, it will not come back though given this is a chronic condition, other veins may appear in the future. These new veins tend to be less serious or significant after sclerotherapy, and easier to treat. Many people undergo only one session while others have more, depending on the size, quantity, and depth of the veins.
Whether you seek relief from discomfort or want clear, smooth legs for the beach this summer, call our office at 516-231-1934 to book an appointment and find out more about sclerotherapy.