Whether they are cosmetic annoyances or the source of discomfort, spider and varicose veins are unwelcome guests in many patients’ lives. One of the most common ways Detroit vein doctors get rid of them is the use of sclerotherapy, an outpatient vein treatment.
How the Procedure Works
In this procedure, Detroit vein doctors use a fine needle to inject a special substance known as a sclerosant or sclerosing agent into a targeted vein. The University of Utah reports that the injected liquid or foam hardens and irritates the blood vessel, causing the vein to collapse or close. Neighboring healthy vessels absorb the blood flow of the treated vein, which is eventually resorbed by the body.
Use of a sclerosant is considered the gold standard of spider vein treatment. Physicians also sometimes use it as a varicose vein treatment. For some patients, doctors combine it with ultrasound to map and visualize blood vessels and permit the most efficient administration of the sclerosing agent.
Who is a Candidate?
At an initial consultation, a vein doctor determines whether a patient is a good candidate for this procedure. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the following circumstances make an individual ineligible:
- Pregnancy or less than three months after delivery
- Being bedridden
In addition, patients who have experienced a prior blood clot are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Veins that might be used in the future for a surgical bypass are usually rejected for sclerosant treatment.
What to Expect at a Vein Clinic
Eligible patients receive detailed pre- and post-procedure instructions. Most individuals prefer to arrive for this Detroit vein treatment wearing loose, comfortable clothes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
At the doctor’s office or clinic, patients lie on the back with legs elevated. The staff cleanses the areas to be treated. Some solutions contain a type of local anesthetic. Most patients report little discomfort beyond slight stinging or cramping upon needle insertion.
The physician massages the area that has been treated and applies compression to help disperse the sclerosant. The number of injections required varies with the number of veins to be treated and their size.
Walking or other leg movement is important after this treatment to help prevent blood clots. Patients wear compression stockings or bandages for around two weeks. Most are able to return to their regular routine, minus strenuous activity, on the day of the procedure. However, they will require another adult to drive them home.
Definitive results in most cases take between three and six weeks, although it could take as long as four months for larger veins to disappear. The procedure carries an overall success rate of between 60 and 80 percent. Since it cannot prevent new spider or varicose veins from forming, some patients will need to return periodically for additional treatment.