Among the available treatments for varicose veins, sclerotherapy is particularly well suited to address small varicose veins, or spider veins. It can remove the appearance of these veins as well as relieve any symptoms associated with the condition, including pain, swelling, and nighttime cramps.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Like endovascular laser therapy (EVLT) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA), sclerotherapy treats varicose veins and spider veins by closing off the faulty section of vein.
With sclerotherapy, however, shutting down the faulty vein area is achieved by chemical means: medication is injected directly into the affected vein. This irritates the lining inside the vein, causing the vein to swell, stick together, and essentially stop the passage of blood through it. Ultrasound imaging is used to guide precise administration of the solution. Once the treated vein has collapsed during the procedure, blood flow is automatically rerouted through other nearby, healthier veins.
The treated vein will fade from view within 2-4 weeks on average as it is reabsorbed by the body. Each session often involves multiple injections, depending on the amount and size of veins to be treated. More than a single sclerotherapy session may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
Liquid vs Foam Solution
What is injected during sclerotherapy includes either a liquid or foam irritant, as well as a local anesthetic to ensure you feel no discomfort during the procedure. The irritant is a relatively straightforward, salt-based solution that safely and effectively irritates vessel lining, causing it to close without harming the surrounding tissue.
Liquid is used on the smallest veins. Foam may be used for longer or larger veins because its consistency allows it to more comprehensively cover a larger area than a liquid. In addition, foam tends to displace blood in the vein (rather than mixing with blood like a liquid does), ensuring full-strength exposure to vein walls.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins
The benefits of choosing this method of eliminating small varicose veins and spider veins include that sclerotherapy is:
- Quick! The entire treatment session taking under 1 hour
- Not painful – no anesthesia is needed, and you can remain awake during the entire procedure
- Less complicated than other endovascular procedures and thus less expensive
- Better for darker skin – it won’t leave discoloration on tanned skin like laser treatments can
- Also effective at relieving symptoms (e.g., pain, swelling) associated with varicose veins
Aftercare Following Sclerotherapy
After the procedure, you may need to avoid strenuous activity and excessive sun exposure for a week or two. You will also likely need to wear compression stockings for a few days to weeks. Walking and moving your legs is recommended following sclerotherapy, as it can help prevent the formation of blood clots.
Sclerotherapy for Varicose & Spider Veins in South Florida
Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for small varicose veins and spider veins. To find out more about sclerotherapy performed by the vascular experts at Florida Endovascular and Interventional, call us at (786) 534-2555 – or simply request an appointment now.
We have four locations in South Florida to better serve your healthcare needs. We provide same-day, outpatient treatments for vascular conditions and much more in Miami Lakes, Plantation, Coconut Creek, and Aventura.