Is Varicose Veins Sclerotherapy Treatment Effective?
Varicose veins are a large swollen mass of knotted rope-like blood vessels bulging from the surface of the skin. In addition to being terrible to look at and painful, these varicose veins can also be life-threatening if left untreated. If you have varicose veins, it’s imperative that you seek varicose vein treatment immediately. If you don’t the vein disease can progress rapidly and lead to complications like bleeding, skin infections, and deep vein thrombosis. You may have heard of varicose veins sclerotherapy treatment — it’s often recommended as an effective treatment for varicose veins. However, sclerotherapy is only suitable as a treatment for surface spider veins. Varicose veins are caused by a serious underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency and sclerotherapy isn’t equipped to deal with that. In this article, we discuss the efficacy of varicose veins sclerotherapy and offer effective varicose vein treatment alternatives.
Importance of Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins are caused by an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency. This is a vein disease in which the vein valves usually responsible for smooth blood circulation malfunction. This causes blood to flow back down due to gravity and pool around the legs. As more blood accumulates in the leg veins, it starts applying greater pressure on the vein walls, thereby leading to vein dilation. That’s how you get protruding and bulging varicose veins on the surface of the skin. Vein disease is a serious condition and it progresses rapidly. Failure to treat vein disease in a timely manner can lead to the following complications:
- Profuse and unstoppable bleeding — triggered by the tiniest of scratches and bumps — because the lack of blood circulation prevents blood from clotting.
- Formation of non-healing and slowly-healing wounds called ulcers due to poor blood circulation.
- Swollen ankles and legs due to the accumulation of blood in the lower legs.
- Skin diseases and infections that lead to a red and scaly appearance.
- The accumulated blood in the veins may clot, inducing deep vein thrombosis.
- If the blood clots travel to the lungs, you may end up with a potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is often posited as an effective varicose vein treatment. This is a minimally invasive procedure in which the vein doctor injects a medicine called sclerosant into the surface veins. This medicine fuses the walls of the veins together, making them eventually close down and disappear. The accumulated blood finds other healthier veins and restores blood circulation.
Is Sclerotherapy an Effective Varicose Vein Treatment?
Sclerotherapy can only treat spider veins on the surface of the skin. However, varicose veins are caused by a deeper vein disease. As such, even if the sclerosant does successfully close some of the surface varicose veins, that would still not be enough. Unless you treat the underlying vein disease, the spider veins and varicose veins will simply come back later. So no, sclerotherapy is not an effective varicose vein treatment.
The only way to permanently treat varicose veins is to cure the underlying vein disease. In order to achieve that, the diseased saphenous vein must be closed off so that the accumulated blood can reroute to healthier veins and restore healthy blood circulation to the heart. Following this, the diseased vein naturally hardens and gets reabsorbed by the body. The following minimally invasive procedures can achieve this and completely treat varicose veins.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure in which the vein doctor creates an incision on your thighs and inserts a catheter into your diseased saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance. The catheter generates thermal energy that irritates the vein walls and eventually collapses them, thereby restoring healthy blood circulation.
Endovenous laser ablation is another minimally invasive procedure that works similarly to radiofrequency ablation. The doctor creates an incision and inserts a tube into the diseased saphenous vein. The tube passes laser energy into the diseased vein in order to destroy it completely and restore blood circulation. Laser ablation is every bit as effective as radiofrequency ablation but it’s not the preferred procedure because it causes more post-procedural discomfort. Furthermore, endovenous laser ablation also necessitates the application of tumescent anesthesia, i.e., anesthesia applied all along the length of the saphenous vein. This also causes pain and discomfort.
VenaSeal is the latest and most advanced varicose vein treatment. During this procedure, a medical adhesive fuses the walls of the vein together, shutting down the diseased saphenous vein completely. This is a simple procedure that can even be conducted without any anesthesia. The only issue is that venaseal isn’t yet covered by insurance so you’ll have to pay for the treatment out of pocket.
How to Get Prepared for Varicose Veins Therapy?
The following tips can help you prepare for your varicose veins therapy:
- Don’t take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin for a week before the treatment. These medicines can increase bleeding during the treatment.
- Stop smoking a few days before the treatment.
- Give your vein doctor a complete list of all the medicines you’re currently using along with their dosage. Follow the doctor’s recommendations about consumption for a few days before the treatment.
- Get fitted for snug compression stockings and bring them along for the appointment. You will have to wear compression stockings for a few days after the treatment.
Best Varicose Veins Sclerotherapy Clinic — Medical Spa In River Oaks
Varicose veins sclerotherapy isn’t an effective treatment at all because it doesn’t treat the underlying vein disease. However, there are a number of other alternatives you can try instead. At Vein Treatment Clinic Houston, our expert vein doctor will thoroughly examine your condition and medical history to determine which of the best varicose vein treatments is most suitable for you. Vein disease progresses rapidly so schedule an appointment right now.