Varicose veins and spider veins are more than just a cosmetic condition. They can be signs of underlying vein disease. Fortunately, there have been significant advances in vein disease treatment, and it is no longer necessary to undergo invasive vein stripping surgery to resolve the problem.
Sclerotherapy is a popular method of managing issues with varicose and spider veins. Of course, patients want to know, “Is Sclerotherapy safe?” The unequivocal answer is yes. This treatment option is minimally invasive, highly effective, and is completed right in your vein doctor’s office. Recovery time is fast, and you can expect to be back on your feet right away.
What Causes Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Your circulatory system is made up of arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of your body, capillaries assist with the transfer of oxygen to your muscles and tissues, and veins return the deoxygenated blood to your heart, where it is pumped to your lungs for a new supply of oxygen. Then the process starts all over.
Your veins have a more difficult job than your arteries, because they have to work against gravity to carry blood from your lower half to your heart. An ingenious system of one-way valves are strategically placed throughout the network of veins to ensure that blood only flows in one direction, which is critical to the process of circulation. However, injury and disease can damage the delicate valves, which allows blood to leak backwards. This condition is called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).
Blood leaking in the wrong direction tends to pool in the lower half of the body, putting pressure on the vessel walls. This causes the veins to stretch and swell. When they are enlarged, twisted, and protruding against your skin, they are known as varicose veins. If they appear as a web of red, blue, and purple streaks just below the surface of your skin, they are known as spider veins.
Vein treatment often goes undiagnosed, because general practitioners and dermatologists focus on the symptoms – varicose veins and spider veins – without fully examining you for an underlying disease. Your vein doctor in NY or vein doctor in NJ has the experience and expertise necessary to ensure your diagnosis is accurate.
What are the Symptoms of Vein Disease?
Varicose veins and spider veins may be the first visible signs of CVI, but it is likely that you are experiencing other symptoms as well. Patients often report cramping in their legs, especially at night, and they also notice swelling, heaviness, numbness, and weakness in their lower extremities. Some develop Restless Leg Syndrome, which causes an uncontrollable urge to move and stretch the leg muscles.
As vein disease progresses, symptoms become more serious. Swelling may cause your skin to feel itchy and tight. If left untreated, you may notice discoloration in the skin around your ankles and the lower portion of your legs. This is a sign of permanent damage, which puts you at higher risk for skin ulcers, an inability to heal from minor cuts and scrapes, and a greater likelihood of contracting infections like cellulitis.
These dangerous conditions are largely preventable if you see your vein doctor in New York or vein doctor in New Jersey for diagnosis and treatment as soon as you notice signs of vein disease.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
One of the most extraordinary things about your circulatory system is that there are built in redundancies to ensure your blood can always get where it needs to go. During the treatment process, your vein specialist permanently closes the unhealthy vein, and blood is automatically rerouted to other, healthier vessels. The tissue from the closed vein is eventually reabsorbed by your body.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most popular vein disease treatments, because it is fast, effective, and safe. During the procedure, your vein specialist numbs the vein being treated, then uses a medical injection to seal the diseased vein. Patients sometimes feel a few seconds of burning or cramping in the area being treated, but there is no lasting pain.
The entire process is done at the vein treatment clinic, and it usually takes half an hour or less. You can return to your normal activities right away, though you should avoid strenuous exercise and wear compression stockings during the recovery period. You can expect a follow-up appointment with your vein doctor, who will examine the treated area to ensure that the vein has closed.
But Really – Is Sclerotherapy Safe?
The idea of a medical injection to close one of your veins can be alarming. This is particularly true when your physician recommends Sclerotherapy to close the saphenous vein, which extends along the entire length of your leg. This vein is a common candidate for treatment, because of its location close to the surface of the skin. Is Sclerotherapy safe for the saphenous vein? Absolutely. Your body is fully capable of rerouting your blood if this or any of your other veins are impacted by vein disease.
Are There Alternative Vein Disease Treatments?
Sclerotherapy isn’t the only option for treating CVI. There are a variety of minimally-invasive methods of closing unhealthy veins. Some of the alternatives include:
- Radiofrequency Endovenous Ablation (RFA) – This procedure uses heat-based energy to close the vein.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) – Targeted laser energy seals the vein.
- VenaSeal – Also known as vein glue, this treatment relies on a medical adhesive to close the vein.
- ClariVein – FDA-approved medication is delivered with a specialized rotating wire to minimize your discomfort during the vein closure procedure.
Your vein specialist can help you determine which option is best for your unique situation.
The Vein Treatment Clinic is proud to provide you with highly-qualified Board-Certified physicians. These specialists have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease, and they offer the most advanced treatment options available right in the office. Schedule your consultation online or call today.