If you have unsightly spider veins or small varicose veins, one of the safest and most effective treatments for removing them is sclerotherapy. Mark Schwartz, MD, FACS, RPVI, of North Shore Vein Center in New Hyde Park, New York, is a specialist in vein health and has considerable expertise with using sclerotherapy to restore health and beauty to your legs. Call North Shore Vein Center today to find out more.
Sclerotherapy Q & A
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment solution for removing spider veins, smaller varicose veins, and hand veins. This is an in-office procedure where Dr. Schwartz injects your veins with a special liquid called sodium tetradecyl sulfate (Sotradecol) using small needles, which causes them to collapse and fade from view.
Sclerotherapy typically improves not only the cosmetic appearance of problem veins but the associated symptoms as well. A sclerotherapy session usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on how many veins need treatment.
Since the needle used for the injection is so small, patients often feel little pain and don’t require any anesthesia. Because there are so many veins in your legs, the blood that would have flowed through these treated varicose or spider veins simply flows through other healthy veins after the procedure.
As well as liquid sclerotherapy, Dr. Schwartz uses foam sclerotherapy at North Shore Vein Center. Foam sclerotherapy is a safe, effective method of treating troublesome varicose veins through injecting a foam solution into the vein. Another option is ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. Ultrasound provides a clear view of the veins inside your body to ensure the optimal delivery of the sclerosing agent.
Foam sclerotherapy is particularly effective because the foam fills the whole vein. Using foam sclerosants allows the active chemical ingredients to remain in contact with the vessel wall for an extended period, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatments.
Why should I choose sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a leading choice for patients who need spider or varicose vein treatment because it’s effective, less expensive, and causes less pain than many other procedures available.
Following sclerotherapy treatment at North Shore Vein Center, you can enjoy healthier, more attractive legs. Once treated, the veins won’t come back. However, spider or varicose veins can be a chronic condition, so new veins could form in the future.
The good news is that after sclerotherapy, any new unsightly or uncomfortable veins that form tend to be less serious. You might just need a simple touch-up treatment to help you enjoy your life free from these veins.
How many sclerotherapy treatments would I need?
The number of sessions you need depends on the depth, quantity, and size of the veins that need treating. While some patients are happy with their results after a single session of sclerotherapy, others might prefer to have further sessions to achieve the optimal effect.
If you wish to have secondary treatments, you should have them between four and six weeks after the primary treatment.
How long does it take to recover after sclerotherapy?
You can resume light activities immediately following sclerotherapy, though you should avoid strenuous exercise for a few days. You will need to wear a compression stocking to keep the pressure on the veins, which helps to minimize any bruising and keeps any treated veins closed.
Bruises that develop in the treated areas usually disappear within a week. Any discomfort you may have is easy to manage with over-the-counter pain medications. Walking regularly is essential, as the exercise helps increase blood flow through other veins.
Most patients who have sclerotherapy experience a 60% to 80% improvement in the appearance of their problem veins after treatment. It can take several months before the final results are apparent.
Find out more about sclerotherapy by calling North Shore Vein Center today.