To relieve patient concerns linked to unwanted spider and varicose veins, doctors have relied on sclerotherapy treatment for years. It remains the gold standard for treating spider veins and also eliminates small varicose vessels. Understanding why physicians recommend sclerotherapy will help patients decide whether it is the option they prefer.
How Sclerotherapy Works
According to the University of Wisconsin Health (UW Health), physicians perform this Houston vein treatment using a fine needle to inject a sclerosing agent, also called a sclerosant, into a vein. Depending on the vessel’s size, the agent is a liquid or a foam. To map varicose veins, which typically develop at a deeper location in the legs than spider veins do, many physicians use duplex ultrasound as a guide.
Once injected, the sclerosant causes irritation to the walls of the targeted vessel. They stick together, causing the vein to close. Over time, it fades until it disappears. Neighboring vessels pick up the circulatory workload of the destroyed vein.
The success rate for patients who undergo sclerotherapy at a Houston vein clinic is approximately 80 percent. In some cases, particularly when doctors use the procedure as a varicose vein treatment, patients require more than one session to eliminate a problem vessel.
The length of a sclerotherapy session varies with the number of vessels targeted, their location, and their size. However, it typically takes 30 minutes or less. Because no treatment for these abnormal vessels can prevent new ones from developing, some individuals return for periodic sessions.
Why Houston Vein Doctors Like the Procedure
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that doctors can perform on an outpatient basis. When lifestyle changes like shedding excess weight, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, or wearing compression stockings are not effective, sclerotherapy is a treatment doctors and many patients prefer over surgery. Physicians can use this versatile treatment to get rid of both spider veins and some varicose vessels. The Mayo Clinic reports that injecting sclerosing agents is a fairly safe treatment typically accompanied by few complications.
Sclerotherapy is a very convenient option for patients with problem veins. Both the injections and exams such as duplex ultrasound are available at a clinic instead of a hospital. Recovery is quick. It is also possible to perform the procedure with other types of treatment. For patients, vein surgery is a more invasive alternative.
UW Health states that most frequent reasons why physicians recommend sclerotherapy include eliminating:
- Spider veins or small varicose veins that pose no major issues
- Small varicose vessels that reappear after a patient undergoes vein stripping
- Some larger varicose vessels, depending on their location
Physicians like sclerotherapy because the procedure can solve both cosmetic and health concerns. In addition to restoring a patient’s self-confidence, it can eliminate discomfort related to the cramping, aching, burning, or swelling associated with some problem vessels.