Sclerotherapy Spider & Varicose Vein Treatment in St. Louis
Sclerotherapy uses a tiny needle to inject a solution called sclerosant into veins, irritating the lining of the veins which causes them to close. Sclerotherapy is used to treat both varicose and spider veins that are seen on the surface of the leg.
Sclerotherapy can be an important part of healing symptomatic varicose veins, or may simply be a cosmetic treatment. Before sclerotherapy is indicated, an evaluation is conducted to determine venous health.
After evaluation, the best course of vein treatment addresses the largest veins first. Sometimes treating vein issues begins with laser ablation (EVLT) of varicose veins. Once the underlying problems are treated in the refluxing saphenous vein with the EVLT, the remaining branches below the skin are treated either with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy or sclerotherapy. Problematic larger superficial veins called varicose veins are typically “ropey” and visible just below the surface of the skin. Smaller surface veins are often referred to as “spider veins.” Sclerotherapy can help relieve symptoms due to varicose and spider veins. Sclerotherapy of spider and varicose veins is usually done without ultrasound guidance. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is called for when veins are experiencing medical issues.
If deep veins are healthy and the issues are simply cosmetic, sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive way to eliminate these visually unappealing veins.
About ultrasound guided sclerotherapy
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is performed with either a liquid or “foamed” sclerosant while Dr. Wright monitors the vein during treatment on an ultrasound screen. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy enables treatment of unseen veins below the surface of the skin otherwise requiring surgical removal. With this procedure, veins can be dealt with at an early stage, helping to prevent further complications.
About cosmetic sclerotherapy
If deep vein issues have been resolved or are not present, treatment addresses superficial veins in topmost layer of the skin, often called “spider veins.” Spider veins are caused by dilation of the most superficial veins in the skin. A vein light is often used for these tiny veins to illuminate hidden vessels that feed the spider veins. This ensures a more complete and accurate treatment. Sclerosant is introduced to close veins and eliminate symptoms. Visual Sclerotherapy of spider veins is usually considered cosmetic. Most insurance will not cover this last type of treatment because it is not deemed medically necessary. Veins are treated with the sclerosant, and with the use of compression stockings, the veins begin to close. Several treatments (often three sessions) are usually required to close veins and eliminate them completely.
What are the advantages of Sclerotherapy?
One of the major advantages of sclerotherapy is that it is able to treat veins of many different sizes. It eliminates annoying spider veins and gives a more pleasing appearance. It is minimally invasive and easily done in the office. It often takes two or three treatments on a given vein to achieve a long-lasting closure that results in the entire disappearance of the vein. Each sclerotherapy injection closes a small section of a vein at a time. Sometimes part of the closed segment of the vein will recannulate or reopen, making it necessary for the vein to be treated again. It can be hard to predict how many treatments it will take to completely eliminate the vein, but generally results are cumulative. Multiple treatments successfully eradicate the spider veins, leading to a greatly improved appearance without unsightly veins.