Spider Veins and Sclerotherapy

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Sclerotherapy has helped patients throughout McLean, Virginia and the rest of the country rid themselves of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Patients who are suffering from large varicose veins may be encouraged to seek other treatments such as endovenous laser ablation and other laser therapies.

Sclerotherapy involves injections of a chemical sclerant that irritates the vein wall, causing it to collapse, shrink and eventually disappear entirely. Blood flow is then carried out through healthy veins deeper in the body, eliminating the unsightly appearance of spider veins or varicose veins. Many patients consider these venous conditions embarrassing, while some feel self-consciousness as a result.

To perform this procedure, the doctor will first sterilize the treatment area. Anesthetic, in most cases, is not required, as the injections made are so small and cause little pain. The larger veins are injected with the sclerant first, followed by the smaller ones. As a general rule, one injection is required for every inch of vein being treated. Most procedures take between 15 and 30 minutes to perform, although this varies in some cases.

Following the treatment, a compression bandage will be applied to the treatment area. Many vein specialists recommend that patients use compression stockings for the initial days following treatment. Discomfort experienced after treatment may be managed using over-the-counter medication and compression stockings, although discomfort is usually minimal. Bruising, swelling or itching around the injection site is normal and should resolve on its own in a few days.

Rare side effects that have been associated with this procedure include allergic reaction, infection at the injection site and complications associated with poor injection technique. For this reason, patients who are suffering from spider veins or small varicose veins should seek treatment from a trained, talented medical professional to ensure proper treatment.

Patients are usually able to return to work immediately following treatment, and there is a relaxed recovery period associated with this procedure. Most patients are encouraged to walk after treatment, but should avoid strenuous activities.

For those interested in this procedure, one of the most common concerns is whether insurance will cover its cost. When it is considered a cosmetic procedure, insurance companies tend not to cover it. However, if sclerotherapy is used to treat small varicose veins after other conservative measures have been tried (losing weight, exercise, compression stockings), the procedure may be covered. This varies on a case by case basis, however, and patients are encouraged to discuss the topic with their vein specialist in McLean and their insurance company.

Learn more about sclerotherapy in McLean, Virginia. .

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