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Goldman Vein Institute

Sclerotherapy FAQs

Both men and women get spider or varicose veins, it is a natural part of life. Below, we answer some of the general questions you may have about the treatment of spider and varicose veins with sclerotherapy.

What is Sclerotherapy treatment?

Sclerotherapy is the treatment of spider and varicose veins through a highly effective, but minimally invasive procedure performed by certified vein specialist doctors. An in-office procedure requiring no surgery or anesthesia, this treatment is performed on men and women.

Spider and varicose veins are easily identifiable:

Spider Veins

These types of veins generally appear on the legs, chest, hands or face. They are small, thin blood vessels that lie close to the skin’s surface and have become dilated, and often appear as blue, purple or red web-like collections of blood vessels. For most patients, they are a cosmetic concern. 

Varicose Veins 

Varicose veins are abnormal veins with weak valves. They appear visibly as thick ropes under the skin or as red, blue or purple discolorations. These types of veins are generally found on the calves, thighs, and on the inside of the leg; however, they can form on any part of the body. They are of medical concern and, therefore, sclerotherapy treatment of varicose veins is generally covered by most insurance providers. 

Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for the treatment of spider and varicose veins.  It is unnecessary to live with the embarrassment and discomfort caused by spider and varicose veins when sclerotherapy treatment offers a progressive solution to these venous conditions.

How does Sclerotherapy work?

There are two types of sclerotherapy, namely visually-guided sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. FDA-approved sclerosants are used for both methods.

Visually-Guided Sclerotherapy

Visually-guided sclerotherapy is used to treat superficial veins such as spider veins lying near the surface of the skin. The certified vein specialist doctor finds the superficial vein visually, and with a tiny needle injects the FDA-approved liquid sclerosant one drop at a time. This gentle FDA-approved medication causes the vein to collapse and close.  

Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

The certified vein specialist doctor, supported by a registered vascular technologist (RVT), use state of the art duplex ultrasound with Doppler wave-form technology to locate and evaluate larger bulging varicose veins, reticular veins (feeder veins), and surrounding spider veins that are difficult to reach with other vein treatment options.  Ultrasound treatments are done utilizing local anesthetic only. 

Under real-time ultrasound guidance and monitoring, VARITHENA™, an FDA-approved sclerosant is foamed and then introduced via a very thin catheter into the affected vein at several locations. With the FDA-approved VARITHENA™ introduced drops at a time, the foam infuses the vein causing it to contract. This safe and effective treatment eliminates unsightly varicose veins with pinpoint accuracy, and is usually covered by insurance.

With both visually-guided sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, the closed vein gets absorbed by the body over time and eventually disappears.

Why should I use Sclerotherapy for varicose veins?

Varicose veins are abnormal veins swollen and engorged with toxic venous blood, as a result of weak or failing valves that prevent blood from being routed back to the heart. Varicose veins are often hereditary. However, other causes can include genetics, pregnancy, hormones, gravity, and time. 

Vein disorders such as varicose veins or venous stasis ulcers that go untreated can develop into more serious health conditions causing bleeding of the leg, deep vein thrombosis, hemorrhaging, peripheral neuropathy, numbness, necrosis of the tissue, stroke or even pulmonary embolism. Because varicose veins can lead to various health concerns, most insurance providers do cover treatments for varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure performed by certified vein specialist doctors in the treatment of varicose veins with an FDA-approved sclerosant. The procedure does not only have cosmetic value, but it also restores healthy circulation. 

How many Sclerotherapy treatments do I need? 

Every patient is unique and, therefore, has a slightly varied treatment plan. Most treatments require multiple sessions. Sclerotherapy sessions are generally completed within 20 minutes per leg, and the treatment sessions are usually scheduled between 7 and 14 days apart.  During the initial consultation, the certified vein specialist will explain the individual treatment plan.  

How effective is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is extremely effective. It is known to eliminate between 50 and 80 percent of treated veins in just a few simple sessions. Patients can resume their daily activities immediately after treatment, but must follow post-treatment care instructions.  

How long does Sclerotherapy last?

The effects of sclerotherapy treatment will be permanent. However, new varicose or spider veins may appear that will require treatment. Acting on risk factors that cause spider veins, such as prolonged standing or a sedentary lifestyle, is beneficial. But, because varicose veins are often hereditary, they might require regular return visits to your doctor for sclerotherapy treatments as the goal to success with vein disease is containment. 

How long after Sclerotherapy before you see results?

Results may vary, but most patients experience a significant reduction in discomfort, visibility as well as varicose vein pain in the weeks after the first treatment. It is important to remember that this is a gradual process and, therefore, the speed of the results will depend on the following:

  • The severity of the vein build-up, 
  • The number of treatments required, and 
  • Conscientious post-treatment care. 

As no scalpels or sutures are used, there are no long-lasting scars or keloids.

How painful is Sclerotherapy?

There is minimal discomfort involved and most treatments are virtually painless. Some patients are more sensitive than others and might experience burning or stinging sensations during and after injections, but this lasts only a few minutes. If you are very sensitive to pain or if you experience any pain during the procedure, it is important to tell the doctor performing the sclerotherapy procedure.  

How long does it take to recover from Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure and recovery times after the sclerotherapy procedure takes little to no time. Most patients can resume normal activities immediately or shortly after treatments. It is safe to drive after a sclerotherapy session, but some patients might experience visual blurring or faintness after the first session, making it advisable for someone else to drive them home. 

What to expect after Sclerotherapy?

The doctor qualified as a certified vein specialist will discuss the healing process. Depending on the treatment performed, it is quite normal for the treated leg to feel heavy or ache for 24-hours after the sclerotherapy treatment, but this will decrease over a few days.  

Although rare, some patients might experience mild inflammation around the injection site, which can be comfortably reduced with over-the-counter pain relievers. You will also be required to wear compression stockings for the period recommended by the doctor.  

Why does my leg look worse after visual Sclerotherapy?

It is normal if the treated area looks slightly worse after visual sclerotherapy, as the procedure could cause it to look red and slightly inflamed. Bruising is quite common, and you might see a darkening purplish discoloration in the treated areas. The wearing of compression stockings will, however, speed up the healing process. It is, obviously, very important to follow the doctor’s post-treatment care instructions.  

How to best heal after Sclerotherapy?

The best way to heal after sclerotherapy is to follow the post-treatment care instructions that will be given with each individual treatment plan. Walking is mandatory, and three 20-minute sessions, whilst wearing compression stockings, are recommended. This exercise will prevent the formation of blood clots and restore good circulation as blood flow is naturally re-routed through the nearby healthy veins. 

What should you avoid after Sclerotherapy?

Generally, core exercises, heavy lifting, and running must be avoided during treatment as well as prolonged sitting or standing.  Also, avoid exposing the treated area to the sun until all bruising is resolved. It is important to bring a full list of all medication taken to the initial session, as certain vitamins and medication must be avoided during sclerotherapy treatment. Also, no hot showers or baths should be taken within 24 hours of treatment. 

How long should you wear compression stockings after Sclerotherapy?

The length of time compression stockings must be worn after sclerotherapy treatments depend on the individual treatment plan and post-treatment care instructions. Fortunately, compression stockings now come in a variety of colors and styles, suitable for almost any occasion such as work, sports or even an evening out. Yes, even athletes are wearing compression gear. To get the best and most comfortable results, the correct size compression stockings must be worn.  

What happens if I don’t wear stockings after Sclerotherapy?

The purpose of compression stockings is to improve blood flow, lessen the chances of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT), as well as lessen the pain and swelling in your legs. They work to reduce the diameter of weakened and enlarged blood vessels down to a more normal level, thus promoting more efficient blood circulation back to the heart.

Patients who wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy treatment report significantly better results than those who do not wear their compression stockings consistently. 

What kind of doctor does Sclerotherapy?

Many medical professionals can perform sclerotherapy. It is, however, best to be treated by a medical professional that complies with the following:

  • The medical professional should have completed the Phlebology (Vein Specialty) Board Certification Examination, 
  • The medical professional should be an active member of the American College of Phlebology, and 
  • The medical professional should maintain certification as a Diplomat of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.  

In addition, because the medical professional will in certain circumstances be making use of ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, it is important that he/she be certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) as a Vascular Technologist (RVT). 

Where can I get Sclerotherapy treatment?

The Goldman Vein Institute provides the best sclerotherapy treatment for varicose and spider veins. At the state-of-the-art vein centers located in Jupiter and Wellington, Florida, the highly qualified and experienced vein specialists, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Varghese-Goldman will provide patients with a customized treatment plan and comprehensive care.  

Working closely with each patient, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Varghese-Goldman develop customized treatment plans that address the underlying causes of spider veins, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, venous reflux, pigment changes, bleeding of a vein, venous stasis ulcers, and other medical conditions associated with venous insufficiency.

Dr. Goldman and Dr. Varghese-Goldman combine their extensive knowledge and experience with the latest innovations in vein treatments to provide each patient with relief from discomfort and embarrassment by the use of the non-invasive, in-office sclerotherapy treatment procedure. Patients from the communities of North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Stuart, Bal Harbor, and Palm Beach Gardens are welcome to visit the Goldman Vein Institute state-of-the-art vein centers where the latest vein technology is utilized. 

Sclerotherapy is an in-office, non-invasive procedure requiring no surgery or anesthesia, for the treatment of spider and varicose veins. This procedure allows you to resume normal activities immediately after the treatment. Contact the Goldman Vein Institute for the most professional and state-of-the-art sclerotherapy treatment.

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