Sclerotherapy is a common treatment that has existed for several years. It can be defined as a treatment where the doctor injects a chemical solution into a problematic blood vessel or lymph vessel. This solution is called a sclerosant or a sclerosing agent and its work is to irritate a blood vessel by causing it to swell. The swollenness stops the flow of blood or lymphatic fluid, which causes the vessel to shrink. Generally, sclerotherapy is suggested to patients with varicose veins. Whether one has the smaller, capillary-like varicose veins called spider veins or the huge, swollen trunk varicosities, any NYC vein doctor will recommend this technique.
Being a non-surgical, less invasive procedure, sclerotherapy can be used to cure blood or lymphatic vessel disorders that make these vessels develop wrongly. It can be administered in different ways now, unlike in the last century when vascular doctors used only liquid sclerosants. In addition to reducing the bad appearance of varicose veins and spider veins, the method also reduces leg pain, itching, swelling and related symptoms. Thus, it is one of the best that a vascular doctor near me can recommend today.
Where is sclerotherapy applied?
In most cases, any NYC vein doctor treats leg and feet via this famous treatment technique. That’s simply because these are the body parts that are greatly affected by varicose veins of any size. When these are large, swollen and twisted veins, the most commonly suggested approach is foam sclerotherapy. It is more modern and effective than the conventional approach where the doctors used only liquid sclerosing agents.
So, if your veins seem big, discolored or swollen, you have trunk varicose veins that require immediate medical attention. On the other hand, if you notice small red, blue or purple veins near the skin surface, it is likely that you have spider veins. These can be treated via the same treatment approach if your NYC vein doctor discovers that they are being caused by the same thing that brings about trunk varicosities.
Other than varicosities, sclerotherapy can be used to treat hemorrhoids or piles that affect the anal part. While this is such a rare way to use the method, it does work when piles have occurred externally and are small. Additionally, it does work when hemorrhoids are bleeding or as an alternative to a risky surgical technique due to a different health problem. Hydroceles of the testicles are also treated via the sclerosing procedure.
When the technique is used to treat varicose veins
If your varicose veins are appearing on your thighs, feet, ankles, calves, anus or face, your NYC vein doctor might decide to use a sclerosant to cure them. It can be easy to ignore your varicose veins sometimes, especially, if they are asymptomatic and small. Commonly, though, people with varicose veins tend to have symptoms such as pain, restless leg syndrome, cramps, swelling around ankles and uncomfortable itch. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention the soonest possible as these signs mark the beginning of vein damage.
This occurs when the valves in veins are impaired or injured and is unable to close properly when blood is flowing upward to the heart. As a result, some of the blood flows backward and gathers in the vein around your ankles. This marks the start of a condition called venous reflux disease or venous insufficiency. It keeps on progressing and worsening as long as you don’t see a NYC vein doctor soon enough. As more and more blood pools in your veins, the walls will swell and bulge and become visible on the skin surface.
These are varicose veins and if they are small, they could be either spider veins or reticular veins. It is imperative to find a vascular doctor near me online who can help you discover what exactly you have. If you ignore, there will be terrible consequences when venous insufficiency reaches its last stage and becomes chronic. You might suffer from venous ulcers on your lower leg and these can be excruciating and hard to heal.
Additionally, you might develop varicose dermatitis, a condition that makes the skin in the affected areas become thick, scaly and fibrous. There is also the risk that your veins could become inflamed and begin to bleed and there could also be the risk of superficial or deep vein blood clots forming. It is so important to seek the help of a NYC vein doctor the moment you notice strange leg discomfort or appearance as this will protect you from last stage complications. Sclerotherapy might be suggested immediately or it might be given in conjunction with another minimally invasive procedure.
How does sclerotherapy work?
This is a procedure that does not require the patient to be admitted. It is done at the doctor’s office and takes about fifteen minutes to sixty minutes depending on how extensive the area being treated is. So, if it is being offered on the legs, the NYC vein doctor will ask you to lie on your back and elevate your legs. If the affected vein is far beneath the skin surface, the physician might use ultrasound to see it clearly during treatment. This ultrasound guided technique is so common nowadays and is more effective than the conventional approach.
Once the NYC vein doctor cleans your skin around the veins he or she is targeting, they will inject each vein with a sclerosing agent of their choice. These may entail polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate or hypertonic saline solutions. They can be in the form of foam or liquid yet the former is largely applied these days. Either liquid or foam sclerosant will cause the vein wall to swell and then shrink, forcing the blood to locate a different healthier vein to flow through.
As time passes, the treated vein will be absorbed by the body and will become less visible and pain-free. If the veins being treated are large, swollen and twisted, your vein doctor might repeat the same treatment three more times. Alternatively, he or she may suggest a more effective method of treating larger varicose veins like radio frequency ablation (RFA).
How do people get ready for sclerotherapy?
After diagnosis and getting your next appointment date, what else do you need to do? A few days prior to this medical procedure, your vein doctor will normally suggest that you avoid taking given drugs. These include aspirin and ibuprofen and continuing to take them can increase your risk of bruising. As well as this, your specialist might prohibit the use of lotion or shaving gel on legs to reduce the chances that you would suffer from irritation.
As well as these, make sure you keep your compression stocking on and there is a possibility that your doctor will want you to continue wearing these after the treatment is over. If there is a disease you live with, let your NYC vein doctor learn about it to ensure that he or she selects the best sclerosant and takes extra caution.
When can a vascular doctor near me select sclerotherapy?
One thing you must know is that this medical procedure is not automatically designed for all people who have spider veins, varicose veins, hemorrhoids or Hydroceles. The best vascular doctor decides whether you are a good candidate or not and if you are not, he or she offers an alternative solution. If this method is suitable, then all you must do is prepare yourself to endure it. If you have spider veins, the doctor might simply prescribe some compression stockings that you can be wearing for a given period of time. If no improvement is noted, the physician might recommend a sclerosing procedure or any other less invasive varicose vein treatment technique. If your spider veins need treatment, you will know because there will be:
- Pain, especially the cramping type at night
- heaviness in legs or discomfort
- A rash close to the veins
- Patchy and dry areas on your legs or feet skin.
So you should go straight to a great vein clinic near you and have your spider veins examined. If there is need to address them medically, the NYC vein doctor will tell you. Anesthesia will not be necessary as anyone can handle needle pricks done during the procedure via super tiny needles. After the treatment process, make sure that you wear your compression stockings and stay active to stop blood clots from forming. Additionally, keep the treated areas away from direct sunlight to avoid developing dark spots. As there might be side effects like tenderness or bruising at the sites of injection, be careful to avoid infection.
Is there any risk involved?
This medical technique is a safe procedure which is less invasive and safer than surgical removal of a problematic vein. It can effectively get rid of spider veins at a success rate of 75 to 90 percent. All the same, several treatment procedures might have to be tolerated to totally get rid of varicose veins through this method. Sometimes surgery might be necessary, but it will only be given if other alternatives fail to work. Some of the risks of this method are redness, bruising, and pain closer to the injected vein.
There is a small percentage (about a 1/3) of patients who develop small branches of vessels around the injected areas and these are known to later on disappear without medical help. Less frequently the patient’s skin might be too sensitive and react badly to the sclerosant. This can cause a burning sensation within the vein and make the skin color change. Moreover, small air bubbles from the needles can enter the bloodstream and cause temporary changes in vision, nausea and headache.
Although it is extremely rare, a blood clot could form within the treated vein and then travel to the lungs where it can trigger a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. It is easy to know you are experiencing serious side effects of sclerotherapy if there is chest pain, breathing difficulty and/or dizziness.
Is this covered by insurance?
You might want to know whether this medical procedure is covered by insurers. The best thing to do is to seek the answer from your medical insurer. If the company deems the procedure medically important, then they might offer coverage. Alternatively, find out if the insurer takes varicose veins seriously enough to cover their treatment. In most cases, spider veins are seen as a cosmetic concern and most insurers do not bother covering it. Your insurance company might ask you to first of all try cryotherapy to try and freeze your varicose veins. If it does not work they might cover another medical procedure selected by the NYC vein doctor.
What alternative cures do you have?
If you have severe varicose veins that require immediate treatment, your vascular expert may not choose to inject your veins. Instead, they might suggest an alternative cure like endovenous laser ablation or EVLA. In this case, laser energy is used to destroy a vein for good and it requires the use of anesthesia to get rid of pain. It is effective when treating small to medium-size varicose veins.
Another endorthermal procedure is radio frequency ablation, a procedure that also requires the use of local anesthesia. It uses radio waves energy to destroy a vein forever and this energy is delivered via a catheter. Both EVLA and RFA are effective medical procedures that don’t cause severe bruising or other terrible side effects. If these two procedures fail, the NYC vein doctor might not have a better choice than removing or closing the vein surgically. Surgery is a last resort technique that is barely preferred these days because of its likelihood to cause severe side effects afterwards.
Sclerotherapy is usually a minor, non-invasive procedure for fixing vein issues. It causes less serious side effects and is quite effective. As it might be a covered insurance clause, make sure you get in touch with your medical insurers today. If you are taking medicines for another disease, let your vein doctor like Dr. Namrata Khimani know about this before the appointment date comes.