Sclerotherapy

Jane Smith, MD -  - Phlebologist

VeinCare of Central North Carolina

Jane Smith, MD

Phlebologist & Internist located in Raleigh, NC

Sclerotherapy is a form of treatment that is used to treat both spider veins and varicose veins, improving the appearance and symptoms in both cases. It’s the gold standard in treating spider veins and, with few exceptions, is the only treatment that’s effective in treating these small veins. With the use of Ultrasound to guide the needle into the vein, it’s also every effective as part of the treatment for varicose veins. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Smith addresses the cosmetic impact that spider veins have on patients while treating the underlying abnormal veins. Start getting your veins treated today: Call the office or book a consultation online.

Sclerotherapy Q & A

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the injection of a chemical into a vein using a tiny, thin needle which irritates the lining of the vein and causes it to swell shut. The vein turns into scar tissue which is then reabsorbed by the body. When treating spider veins, Dr. Smith and her clinical team begin by treating the root of the vein cluster then treat the spider vein itself. This systematic approach is critical to effective and lasting elimination of spider veins.

While the length of time for each spider vein treatment may vary, it is usually a 30-minute procedure that Dr. Jane Smith or one of her clinical staff performs. While you lie on a table, several injections are given with a methodical, systematic approach to getting rid of your problem veins.

Why might my doctor recommend sclerotherapy?

Dr. Smith may recommend sclerotherapy for a few different reasons, such as to eliminate:

  • Spider veins
  • Varicose veins-below the surface
  • Varicose veins-very large tortuous varicose veins that protrude above the skin surface
  • Varicose veins that recur after previous treatments(post-surgical, for example)

Will I have medically necessary sclerotherapy or cosmetic sclerotherapy?

Depending on your needs, Dr. Smith may recommend either medically necessary sclerotherapy or cosmetic sclerotherapy. She determines which one would be ideal based on a physical exam and ultrasound.

Medically necessary sclerotherapy

This is appropriate for varicose veins and large veins that can be visualized only by ultrasound. Medically necessary sclerotherapy is performed with a specific technique, known as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. The foam is visible on ultrasound, which allows for targeted treatment and careful monitoring as Dr. Smith injects the veins.

Ultrasound surveillance allows the treatment to be exact, which ensures safety and enhanced effectiveness. That facilitates longer-lasting results. Not only are your unsightly veins eliminated, but the circulation in your legs is improved after you undergo treatment with foam sclerotherapy.

Successful treatment of varicose veins requires close monitoring of your veins to be sure they have responded to the treatment.

Also, Dr. Jane Smith will advise when you will need follow up visits to be sure the veins remain under control. This usually involves three month, six month, and 12 month follow-up appointments with annual reevaluations after that.

To achieve a long-term result, it’s critical that you follow Dr. Smith’s treatment plan. Doing so ensures long-lasting outcomes.

Cosmetic sclerotherapy

This is performed when your veins are merely a cosmetic problem, with no underlying abnormal veins.

If Dr. Smith’s evaluation at your consultation shows no evidence of an underlying vein problem, she and her clinical staff will treat the veins that are visible on the surface. In this case, there is no need for ultrasound guidance. However, they might use technology such as Veinlite™ to enhance visualization of the veins that are just below the surface.

Sclerotherapy is minimally invasive, requiring only the use of tiny needles. While results are usually seen within a few weeks, the improvement in appearance is different for every patient both in how many veins are eliminated and how quickly that occurs.

Although multiple treatments are usually necessary, it's still the treatment of choice for spider veins, whether or not the spider veins have associated symptoms.

There are very few contraindications to sclerotherapy. Pregnancy is an absolute contraindication. Dr. Smith will take a thorough history and will advise you if she does not feel you are a good candidate for sclerotherapy.

What can I expect after my sclerotherapy?

Dr. Smith and her clinical team perform sclerotherapy in the office. You can leave immediately after your treatment, drive yourself to and from your appointment and resume normal activities that day with Dr. Smith’s permission.

Sclerotherapy improves the flow of blood back to your heart by closing down the abnormal, non-functioning veins and shifting the blood to the healthy veins. Dr. Smith and her clinical team will discuss the details before the treatment, so you’re comfortable with proceeding. Call or book your sclerotherapy appointment online.