Sclerotherapy at the Advanced Liposuction Center
Unwanted blood vessels (spider veins and small varicose veins) occur from genetics, injury, aging, long periods of sitting or standing, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy. Sufferers of varicose veins and spider veins often report aching, cramping pain in their legs. They may also have numbness, heaviness, and tiredness in their legs.
Relief may be gained from elevation of the legs or stockings, but these are temporary and don’t address the underlying problem. Varicose veins have the potential to form blood clots, and these symptomatic veins can be considered a medical issue rather than a cosmetic one. Sclerotherapy is used to treat these problematic veins. The procedure consists of a series of small injections to help seal the vein from the inside, allowing the body to naturally redirect blood flow to healthy veins.
The procedure involves a painless sclerosant, which is injected into the veins, causing them to shrink, close off and eventually disappear. Two to five treatments are often needed and results are long-lasting.
The non-invasive procedure allows most patients to quickly return to their normal activities, although patients should not exercise for three days. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat veins on the face, hands, legs, arms and chest.
Advantages of Sclerotherapy:
- Minimal downtime
- Less likely to stain skin
- Long-lasting results
- Fewer allergic reactions
- No scarring
How Sclerotherapy Works
First, the patient is given topical anesthetic by our expert injectors, and then a tiny needle is placed into the vein, releasing the sclerosing agent, causing them to shrink, close off and eventually disappear. Discomfort is minimal and the treatment takes about 30 minutes or less. Results can be seen within one month or less. Some patients may need more than one treatment to achieve optimal results. Because vein disease is progressive and has no cure, we recommend regular follow-up visits after every type of treatment.
The best part of sclerotherapy is the immediate relief. In fact, after the procedure you will likely be able to drive yourself home. While you may not be able to immediately jump into cardio for a short while, your regular daily activities will remain mostly unaffected.
What Areas Can Sclerotherapy be Used to Treat?
The vast majority of varicose veins (about 80% of what is treated) develop on the legs, ankles and feet. The difference between a spider vein and varicose veins is that varicose veins tend to be larger, push out from the surface of the skin and become discolored or swollen. There are varicose veins that occur deeper under the skin. These may not be visible but can cause discomfort. Spider veins, on the other hand, are smaller in size. The veins are closer to the skin. They are almost always red, purple, or blue.
I had large blue veins on my legs for years and really thought that nothing could be done about them. I hid them under long dresses and pants. It was embarrassing to talk about them. During a check up, my doctor remarked that if they were bothering me, I could seek treatment. Somehow that was enough to make me call The Advanced Vein Center and make an appointment. Now I’m embarrassed that I waited so long. I love being able to wear shorts outside of the house.
-Olivia (age 52)
Although not very common, sclerotherapy is sometimes used to treat hemorrhoids. This is typically only done with smaller external hemorrhoids. It can, however, also be utilized if your hemorrhoids are prone to bleeding. Sclerotherapy is a good alternative for patients who, due to other health concerns, cannot handle the risks associated with a hemorrhoidectomy (or other surgical procedure) at the time.
Sclerotherapy can be considered to successfully treat varicose and spider veins in the following areas:
- face (most commonly on the nose),
- feet and
When selecting the most appropriate course of treatment for you, your provider will consider several factors. These include your age, the location, size and prevalence of the damaged veins. Any past history of treatment or or venous disease will also be considered.
Sclerotherapy consists of a medication used to fill unwanted veins by displacing the blood, which causes the vein to lighten, then irritate the lining, and finally collapse. Within about one month, the body absorbs the spider vein and it disappears.Is sclerotherapy painful?
No, the injection is not painful, but the patient may notice bruising for a few days.What should I expect after the treatment?
Our expert injectors will wrap the leg with a compression bandage or stocking. Normal activities can resume after about 24-48 hours. Some patients notice slight bruising and tenderness for a few days. Some patients need a follow up visit as new spider veins may appear.How should I prepare for my sclerotherapy treatment?
Do not use any lotions, bronzers, tanners or oils for at least 1 day before treatment. Patients can choose to bring a pair of shorts to wear during treatment.Does sclerotherapy stain the skin?
Patients may experience brownish discoloration but this will go away within a few days.What is the downtime?
Patients should not have sun exposure for 6 weeks, should not exercise for 3 days, and must wear compression stockings for 3 days.
What are the possible serious side effects?
Uncommon but serious side effects include allergic reactions (make sure you tell us all of your allergies), ulceration (usually heals within 6 weeks), or blood clots (extremely rare).
Will insurance cover sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is usually not covered by insurance because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. Although, symptomatic veins can be screened to be covered by insurance.
Are there other treatments for spider veins?
We have laser services that can easily remove spider veins as well. Please call 724-683-7581 for more information.
Will I be in pain after treatment?
No. Few patients experience cramping or itching, but it quickly subsides. The patient’s leg will be wrapped in compression stockings for 3 days.
When can I go back to exercising?
Patients can return to their normal exercise routine after 3 days.
How long does treatment take?
Sclerotherapy usually takes 15-30 minutes.
What are the side effects for Sclerotherapy?
Patients may notice temporary bruising or tenderness, mild itching, hyperpigmentation (light brown discoloration which will fade within a few weeks) or new spider veins occurring, which can also be removed.
What’s the downtime for sclerotherapy?
After Sclerotherapy, patients will need to elevate your legs for a short time and minor bruising should be expected.
FREE Vein Screenings are available at ALL locations. Call 724-683-7581 now!