Sclerotherapy is one of the most effective and time-tested treatments for spider veins, or the small, sunburst-patterned red or purple blood vessels that most commonly appear on the legs. By injecting of a hypertonic sclerosing solution that irritates the lining of the affected vessels, sclerotherapy gradually causes those vessels to collapse into scar tissue, which fades over time.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure done by your healthcare provider to treat uncomplicated spider veins and uncomplicated reticular veins. The treatment involves the injection of a solution into the affected veins.
- Uncomplicated spider veins (very small varicose veins ≤ 1 mm in diameter)
- Uncomplicated small varicose veins (1 to 3 mm in diameter) known as reticular veins
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are large blue, dark purple veins. They protrude from the skin and many times they have a cord-like appearance and may twist or bulge. Varicose veins are found most frequently on the legs.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are very small and very fine red or blue veins. They are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like a thin red line, tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and may cover a small or large area.
What are reticular veins?
Reticular veins can also be known as feeder veins. They are the blue and green veins beneath the surface of the skin. Reticular veins enlarge because of increased pressure in the vein. They can be caused by heredity. You may have reticular veins alone but you may also have spider veins at the same time.
What causes spider and reticular veins?
Spider and reticular veins can be caused by many factor
- Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them. Approximately half of the people who get varicose veins have a family history of them.
- Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
- Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within 3 to 12 months following delivery.
- Overweight and obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
- Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart.
Other possible causes for varicose veins are race, posture, occupation, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, primary valvular incompetence, and incompetent perforating veins.
How long is each Asclera® session?
A typical sclerotherapy session lasts 15 to 45 minutes. One injection is usually administered per inch with multiple injections per session. Following treatment compression stockings or support hose should be worn continuously for 2-3 days and for 2-3 weeks during the day time. Repeat sessions may be necessary. If additional treatment sessions are required they are usually reparated by 1-2 weeks.
What is expected of me after treatment of Asclera®?
Patient should maintain graduated compression
- 2-3 days after treatment of spider veins
- 5-7 days after treatment of reticular veins
- For extensive varicosities, longer compression treatment is recommended
- Post-treatment compression is necessary to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
Patient should be encourage to walk
- 15-20 minutes immediately after treatment
- Daily for a few days
What should I avoid after receiving an Asclera® Injection?
For two to three days following the treatment, avoid (if you are uncertain, please ask your healthcare provider):
- Heavy exercise
- Long plane flights
- Hot bath or sauna
Are there any possible side effects to Asclera® treatments?
Yes, they may include:
Severe allergic reactions have been reported following polidocanol use, including anaphylactic reactions, some of them fatal. Severe reactions are most frequent with use of larger volumes (> 3 mL). The dose of polidocanol should therefore be minimized. A doctor should be prepared to treat anaphylaxis appropriately.
In rare cases, formation of small “burns” or ulcers form, usually due to leakage of Asclera® into the skin. They heal in time, but may leave a scar. Inadvertent perivascular injection of Asclera® can cause pain. If pain is severe, a local anesthetic (without adrenaline) may be injected.
You should tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including, prescription and non prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal products. You should not be treated with Asclera® if you have a known allergy to polidocanol, have an acute vein or blood clotting (thromboembolic) disease or are pregnant or nursing.
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Founded by Dr. David Branch in 2000, Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery provides state-of- the-art cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in an AAAASF accredited facility. We strive to create a warm, friendly environment in which our patients can pursue their cosmetic goals, explore new ideas about appearance and rejuvenation, or just heal following injury or illness.
“The information available on Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery’s website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician’s judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. The use of this website does not create a physician/patient relationship between you and Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. The images on this site are for aesthetic purposed unless otherwise noted. See before and after images for possible results. Individual results may vary.”