Sclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a medication solution directly into the veins. The solution irritates the veins and causes scarring and swelling, hence blocking the flow of blood. If you need this treatment, be sure to visit Dr. Mimi Lee in Little Rock, Arkansas for quality care.
Also known as telangiectasia, spider veins are a cluster of dilated small blood vessels that develop near the surface of the skin. They commonly affect the legs and face, and they’re usually purple, blue, or red. Even though they’re harmless, treating them can improve your appearance. Larger varicose veins can be even more unsightly, and in extreme cases can even pose a health risk. At Mimi Lee, MD, we’re here to help. Dr. Lee is passionate about treating vein issues to improve the quality of life for her patients.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
As noted, the treatment entails injecting a solution into the affected veins. Dr. Lee uses a sclerosing solution known as ASCLERA, which doesn’t need saline. You’ll need to lie on your back with your legs elevated to get the injections. The doctor will then cleanse the skin area using alcohol.
The process takes about 15 to 30 minutes. During a single session, our doctor will inject multiple veins to address the issue. Dr. Lee uses ultra-fine needles to minimize discomfort and ensure accuracy. The number of veins that are treated during a session depends on the location and size of the veins. Additionally, the health condition of the patient also determines the number of injections in a single session.
After the injections, you’ll need to wear compression hose on your legs for about two to three days. The aim is to prevent the veins from refilling to ensure the right results after the treatment. It’s okay to engage in mild exercise and resume regular activity; however, you shouldn’t engage in certain activities, such as intense squatting and heavy lifting.
The Right Candidates
Prior to the injections, you’ll have initial consultations with Dr. Lee to determine if you’re the right candidate for sclerotherapy. Pregnant women are rarely eligible, but those taking birth control pills can qualify.
If you have experienced blood clotting before, your eligibility depends on the cause of the clot and the overall health of the affected area. Be sure to share your medical history with us to ensure optimal treatment.
What to Do Before the Treatment
Preparation is essential to ensure a successful treatment. The doctor will gather your medical history and conduct a physical exam. The exam involves evaluating the affected veins and checking the area for any underlying blood vessel condition.
We will want to know your recent or existing conditions, medications, allergies, and any previous treatments you have had before. For patients taking blood thinners, it might be advisable to stop taking them for a few days before the treatment. You’ll be informed about the medications that should be avoided. Some of them include ibuprofen and aspirin. You should not apply any lotion to the area before the treatment.
What to Expect
After the treatment, the body takes a few weeks to absorb the treated veins. You can walk normally after the injections. In fact, it’s advisable to walk and move our legs to prevent blood clots from forming. As noted before, you’ll be advised to wear compression stockings or bandages to compress the veins.
It’s vital to have someone drive you home after the injections. Ideally, any activity that exerts unwanted pressure to the treated area should be avoided. You’ll also need to avoid direct sun exposure during the recovery time.
You can expect to see noticeable changes within three to six weeks after the treatment. However, for larger veins, this can be about three to four months. You might also need multiple treatments, usually two to three, to achieve your desired results.
In most cases, veins that respond well to the treatment don’t come back, but new veins are likely to appear. We will schedule a follow-up visit to monitor the progress of the condition. This will also help to decide if the patient needs further sessions for the vein issue to clear. It’s recommended to wait about six weeks after the first treatment before getting another injection.
Studies have shown that the treatment has a success rate of about 60 to 80 percent in treating spider veins.
For most people, living with spider veins or varicose veins can be a daunting experience. They might be harmless, but they make you feel self-conscious, especially if they are more noticeable. The most commonly affected body parts include the calves, ankles, and thighs. Their cause is not well known, but they tend to run in families. In some cases, they are linked to weight gain, birth control pills, or pregnancy.
The good news is that they can be treated if you seek treatment from the right doctor. Contact Mimi Lee, MD in Little Rock, AK today, where we have the proper treatment for spider veins. Dr. Lee has mastered the right approach to managing such issues. We use ASCLERA, a sterile blood vessel irritant, to treat the veins and restore the natural look of your skin.