How Does Sclerotherapy Treat Spider Veins?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Those in the Chesapeake, Virginia area who are experiencing spider veins or small varicose veins may find effective relief in sclerotherapy, a minimally-invasive procedure that involves the use of a chemical sclerant to irritate the vessel lining of problem veins. This helps to shrink the problem vein and leads to its collapse, and eventually its disappearance. Those who are interested in sclerotherapy should speak with a vein specialist in the area to determine their candidacy for the treatment, and whether it may be an effective treatment to help them reach their goals.

Sclerotherapy is performed by first sterilizing the treatment area and then proceeding with the injection of the chemical sclerant into the larger veins first, followed by the smaller ones. The progress of the chemical that is used is monitored throughout the treatment process. One injection is needed for every inch of vein being treated in many cases, although this may vary and patients should speak with a vein specialist in the Chesapeake area to help determine how many injections they may require.

The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes to perform, and some patients may feel a minor stinging or burning sensation during and just after the injections. This is short-lived, however. A bandage is applied to the treatment area following the procedure and patients may wear compression stockings for a few days. Patients who receive treatment with sclerotherapy may use over-the-counter pain medication to manage minor discomfort. Compression bandages or stockings may be effective in alleviating the discomfort as well. There may be some mild bruising, itching or swelling at the injection site, but side effects are generally uncommon and are short in duration.

Nevertheless, patients should discuss possible side effects with a vein specialist in the area. Rare cases may involve allergic reactions, infection at the injection site or other complications that may be associated with poor injection technique. For this reason, patients should make sure they receive treatment from an experienced and highly skilled specialist to help minimize the chances of complications.

Because sclerotherapy is generally used to treat spider veins, which are considered a cosmetic problem, most insurance plans do not cover the cost of treatment. However, if used as part of a larger treatment plan to provide relief from varicose veins that are of a medical concern, insurance may cover the cost. Patients should speak with a Chesapeake vein specialist and their insurance company for more information.

Learn more about sclerotherapy in Chesapeake, Virginia 

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