Sclerotherapy is a procedure done to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins. The procedure dates back to the 1930s. During the procedure, the physician injects a solution directly into the defective blood vessel. The solution causes the blood cells to clump together. It irritates the vessel’s walls and causes them to stick together and swell. The abnormal vein eventually becomes scar tissue and is absorbed by the body.
Sclerotherapy is performed in our doctor’s office. The doctor performs an injection, and may treat more than one vein during a session. A typical treatment session may take about 15 to 30 minutes.
Types of Sclerotherapy
There are three main types of sclerotherapy. Liquid sclerotherapy, or injection sclerotherapy, is the most common type. It is used to treat spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Foam sclerotherapy may be used for larger varicose veins.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is the newest type and allows the doctor to treat deep veins that are hidden from view. Previously, such veins would have needed surgery. The doctor uses an ultrasound monitor or echographic guidance to guide him to the abnormal vein so he can treat it. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy can be used to treat all but the largest veins.
How is Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy Done?
Ultrasound or echographic guidance lets the doctor see structures beneath the skin. The doctor uses a special machine that enables him to see blood flow, as well as the structure of the veins. The doctor will apply a gel to the patient’s skin that will enhance the ultrasound’s effectiveness. He will then insert a probe into the patient’s skin. The probe will transmit images of the patient’s veins to a monitor.
The doctor will conduct a detailed examination of all of the veins in the area so they can locate all of the abnormal veins, plus adjacent arteries. The resultant map of the veins in the lower leg will enable the doctor to identify the root cause of the varicose veins.
The doctor will decide which veins to treat based on the results of the map. Using the monitor as a guide, he will inject the chosen veins. Some doctors use foam and some use the traditional salt solution.
What Happens After Treatment?
The patient may be instructed to walk around for 20 to 30 minutes immediately after the procedure. They will be given compression stockings to wear for the first few days or weeks after treatment. They should walk for at least 30 minutes every day and avoid standing still for long periods.
Learn More About Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy
Located in Edinburg, the professionals at the South Texas Vein Institute are here to help you every step of the way when it comes to treating your spider veins and varicose veins. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about our amazing treatment options.