Many people have varicose veins or other visible veins that cause them problems. More than half of the people in the United States have these veins, but they rarely get the proper treatment they need. Here at Coastal Vein Care in Newport Beach, California, we have the best sclerotherapy treatments to help you with vein disorders that cause pain.
Sclerotherapy Procedure: The Treatment of Choice
What Is Sclerotherapy?
This is a treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. A specialized medical solution is first made and then injected into the veins. Those specific veins will eventually collapse due to the inner lining being irritated. Once the vein has collapsed, the blood that pooled at the bottom will relocate itself to other veins that are healthy, improving blood flow. The collapsed veins will not be visible after a short amount of time and naturally get removed from the body.
When Should I Get Sclerotherapy?
People with varicose and spider veins consider this treatment for many reasons. When legs are sore or feel heavy, it can be harder to go on lengthy walks. The veins themselves can also be painful. Sometimes rashes can even appear on the skin near the veins, causing itching and dryness. In addition to these reasons, some people just do not want the veins to be visible anymore.
What to Do Before Treatment
The first thing that must be done is to visit a doctor to have them look at the veins. They will also check for any other underlying blood vessel diseases. Ultrasound may be used to have a better look at the veins in the legs. Once the doctor has analyzed and gone over a patient’s needs, they can come up with a proper treatment plan.
The day before, you should avoid shaving or wearing any lotions or ointments on the legs. Before going to the appointment, you should also make sure you wear loose and comfortable clothing. Shorts may be the optimal choice, since the legs will already be exposed.
What Sessions Are Like
The patient must lie on their back with their legs propped up to help with blood flow. The doctor will sterilize the area where the needle will go, and then inject the solution into the vein. After injection, the doctor will massage the entire area to make sure blood does not reenter the vein. There is no anesthesia involved, and most treatments are only fifteen to thirty minutes long.
A special solution is put into the needle. This solution is called the sclerosant. It is usually a liquid, salt-based solution with ingredients such as hypertonic saline, which is approved by the FDA. Sometimes only one vein will be injected in a session, while other times multiple veins will be injected. It depends on how big the veins are and where they are located.
Compression pads are sometimes taped onto the legs when doctors are working on multiple veins. The doctors work on one vein at a time, so when multiple veins are involved, they compress the ones they have finished working on to keep the blood from flowing back in. Once treatment is over, it is also highly recommended that you wear compression stockings. Many patients wear them for around two weeks after a session is done.
Most of the time, multiple treatments are needed to collapse these veins, but treatment doesn’t take up much time, and you can walk immediately after each one. Recovery only involves staying out of the sun and away from strenuous exercise. Effective results can show in just a few weeks to a few months. Once a vein dies, it does not grow back, so the results will always stay the same. However, you should note that it will not prevent new veins from showing up in the future.
Types of Veins
There are three major types of veins located in the legs. These are important because they all contribute to blood flow.
These veins are the closest to the surface of the body, which is where their name comes from. They are usually visible, especially when lifting heavy weights. Their job is to carry blood to the deeper veins from the tissues that are closer to the skin. Two major superficial veins include the Great Saphenous Vein and the Short Saphenous Vein. They return blood from multiple places in the leg, including the thigh, calf, and foot.
The job of these veins is to communicate with superficial and deep vein systems. Blood flows from more superficial veins to the deeper veins. These veins also connect the superficial veins to the muscular veins. Other than connection, their principal role is to make sure blood drains correctly.
These make up the most important vein system. Usually, deep veins are paired with arteries that bring blood away from the heart and distribute it to the rest of the body. Deep veins are responsible for carrying most of the blood coming from the legs back to the heart.
Causes of Vein Disorders
The job of veins in the body is to carry blood back to the heart. However, they can malfunction and cause blood to pool in the veins of the legs. This causes swelling in those veins, which can lead to pain. The legs can end up feeling weak, and cramps or swelling can also occur among the many common symptoms of vein disorders. This leads people to eventually getting treatment for their legs.
Family history can often be the cause of a vein disorder. If several other family members have this problem, then you are more likely to get it at some point. There have been studies done that suggest that the taller a person is, the more likely they are to have vein problems.
It is not good to sit or stand in one place for too long. Many people have jobs that require them to sit for lengthy periods of time, which is a problem because movement is essential for good blood flow. That is why it is important to make time for exercise daily. Obesity may also be a factor leading to vein disorders, which is another reason to make sure you get exercise.
Congenital Valve Dysfunction
In some people, the valves of the heart do not properly develop before birth. This can keep the valves from properly closing. It is a problem especially with veins because the valves prevent blood from leaking. When blood leaks from a valve, it can start pooling in the legs, which causes the swelling and all the other problems. Some people are completely missing valves, while others just have impaired valves.
Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins
These are the names for the most commonly treated vein disorders. However, most people do not know the difference between them. It is important to know about both of them to decide if treatment is needed.
Spider veins are small clusters of veins that are purple or red. Because of their color, they sometimes get mistaken for bruises or other injuries. When the valves in the veins do not work, blood does not flow properly. In response, when a vein completely stops working, the body makes new veins. These newer veins continue branching out until they get close to the surface of the skin, where they are eventually visible. These are what lead to varicose veins later.
Most adults get these veins at some point in their lives, and usually when they are older. They are big and bulging unlike the spider veins, and the color of the blood is darker from the lack of oxygen. Blood has pooled in these veins instead of going back to the heart, but unlike spider veins, these veins do not branch out. The health risks of leaving these veins untreated are higher than in spider veins.
Other Ways to Treat Veins
VenaSeal Vein Closure
This treatment is used for diseases that are found in the superficial veins of the legs. A catheter is first inserted into the vein using ultrasound technology. Then, a dispensing gun is attached to it so that it can inject an adhesive into the vein. The adhesive closes off the vein, which will die and not grow back. This is an FDA-approved treatment and is also pain-free. Compression is applied during the treatment to prevent any bleeding.
Radio Frequency Ablation
This treatment uses radiofrequency energy to target diseased veins. The walls inside the varicose veins get heated up until they are damaged enough to become closed off. After this, the veins are not visible anymore. This treatment involves anesthesia and a small incision to be made before treatment. It is safe and effective, and patients can even walk right afterward.
Laser Vein Closure
As the name implies, in this treatment, lasers are used to target a specific vein and treat it from the inside. This method is usually used to treat varicose veins that are deeper inside the leg. Similar to VenaSeal, a catheter is used here, too. This allows a laser fiber to be inserted into the vein. The laser light gets hot and causes the blood to start clotting.
This increases the pressure of the vein walls, which damages them until they collapse and seal shut. Anesthetic injections are given to ensure comfort. Once the vein has collapsed, blood naturally flows to the healthier ones. Some smaller veins may also fade on their own, and any dead tissue will naturally be removed by the body itself.
The laser goes along the entire length of the diseased vein to completely shut it down. Unlike the other treatments, this one stops varicose veins at the source, although it comes with more risks.
Eliminate Unhealthy Veins Now
If you have several noticeable veins on your legs that have been causing you discomfort, do not be afraid to seek treatment! We will set up an appointment with you so we can get your blood flowing back to normal. We are ready to give our patients the comfort and care that they deserve through sclerotherapy and other treatments, so give Coastal Vein Care in Newport Beach, California a call today!