- Highly effective for varicose veins
- Little to no pain
- No surgery
- Insurance can cover
What exactly is Sclerotherapy and how does it work?
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment to improve varicose or spider veins on your legs. If performed properly, it is highly effective and has the best results of all varicose vein treatments.
During a sclerotherapy procedure, a solution is injected into the varicose or spider vein (it’s a salt or chemical solution called a “sclerosant”). As a result of that, the vein walls swell, stick together, and seal so that no more blood can flow through the vein. This whole process forces the blood to reroute through healthier veins, and the collapsed varicose vein is eventually reabsorbed into local tissues and fades within a few weeks.
Sclerotherapy comes from the Greek word ‘skleros’ which means ‘hard’ – the damaged vein hardens after being injected with the chemical solution and then dissolves.
Is Sclerotherapy painful and what’s the recovery time?
There are two most important questions people always ask:
Is it going to hurt?
Let’s face it, none of us really enjoy pain. Fortunately, with sclerotherapy you’re safe. Some topical anesthetic may be applied, but most patients don’t even need it. You just lie comfortably on your back with the legs elevated while the doctor cleans your skin with an antiseptic and injects the solution into the damaged vein or veins. During the needle insertion, you might experience minor cramps or stinging, but nothing intolerable. 30 minutes later, you’re out of the office on your feet.
Can I go to work the day after?
Actually, you can usually go back to work on the same day of the procedure. Doing some walking after sclerotherapy is vital as it will prevent formation of blood clots in your legs. Just walk back to work instead of taking the bus or subway. It is also recommended to wear compression stocking for a few days, and avoid sun exposure and strenuous activities.
Are Sclerotherapy procedures all the same? NO!
Why “Ultrasound-Guided” Sclerotherapy:
When you’re looking for a specialist – a phlebologist – make sure that the procedure they use is Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy. During this treatment, the doctor will use Duplex Ultrasound (DUS) – a technological device that allows him to locate the diseased vein hidden from view that causes the bulging on the surface. Why is this different? The ultrasound guides the placement more accurately, and limits the number of injections necessary. Compared to other sclerotherapies, this one is more effective.
How do I find the best specialist for this?
Most of us have been down that road: we are misdiagnosed at first and when we finally get the diagnosis right, somebody fails to do the treatment properly and we are the ones to bear the consequences. That’s why it is extremely important to choose an expert in this field that you can trust will do the best job.
You can just call and schedule an appointment to get specific answers. Most offices are state-of-the-art and the staff is really friendly.
Is one Sclerotherapy session enough and when do I see the results?
This really depends on how severe your condition is. Veins treated with sclerotherapy generally take about 3 to 6 weeks to fade.
The great news is that 50-80 % of veins are eliminated within a few sessions! If your vein doesn’t respond, your physician may suggest repeating the procedure with a different sclerotherapy solution.
As with many other medical conditions, varicose veins are not curable. They require ongoing care and surveillance, and the sooner you take the right treatment, the more you can control potential complications (such as leg ulcers and blood clots).
Cost and Insurance
The cost of Sclerotherapy varies depending on how large the treated area is. Most medical insurance plans and Medicare cover this procedure for patients who experience symptoms of varicose veins. You might have to go through a short trial period of wearing compression stockings and taking pain medication, but in the end the procedure will get reimbursed in the majority of cases. If Sclerothapy is used as a cosmetic procedure for spider veins, unfortunately most medical insurance plans and Medicare will not cover it.
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