Sclerotherapy has been around since the 1930s, but don’t let that give you the impression that it is outdated. In fact, advances in technology like ultrasound, foam solutions, and better imaging, make sclerotherapy more useful and relevant than ever.
Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard in spider vein treatment and is also used to treat varicose veins and damaged deeper veins. The procedure consists of a sclerosing agent injected into the targeted veins, which causes the veins to seal shut and reroute the blood through nearby healthy veins, leaving the damaged vessel to reabsorb back into the body. Unsightly spider veins on the surface simply fade away and disappear, and related problems like leg pain, fatigue, and restless legs also are relieved.
Types of Sclerotherapy
While sclerotherapy started out as a spider vein treatment, advances in technology have made the procedure suitable for varicose and other vein treatments.
Light-assisted foam sclerotherapy, for instance, uses a magnifying light and lens to allow doctors to see veins just below the skin’s surface to guide the sclerotherapy injection precisely where it needs to be. The ‘foam’ refers to the injection itself, which as a foam, is more effective in sealing the vein than previous all-liquid solutions.
Another recent development is ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. It allows our experienced physicians to find and map veins not visible on the surface, without invasive exploratory surgery that can leave scarring. The ultrasound maps and images the veins in the area to be treated, allowing staff to pinpoint the location of the vein to treat and take care of it safely and effectively. This is especially useful if your spider veins are accompanied by other vein problems; we can take care of multiple veins in one session.
Side Benefits of Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy has many advantages for patients. It is extremely efficient, has a proven track record of safety, is quick and easy, and takes less than your lunch hour to complete. There is no anesthesia is required, and no downtime.
Most patients are back to their regular activity level immediately after the procedure, although we do recommend they use compression stockings to regulate blood flow in the legs for the days following the procedure to accelerate the healing process.
At Advanced Vein Center, our staff is qualified in all types of sclerotherapy, and our experienced physicians can help patients create an individualized treatment plan. We serve patients in the Portland, Maine area from our offices, and welcome questions or appointments at any time — simply contact us here.