Vein Injection (Sclerotherapy)
Spider veins are small clusters of red, blue, or purple veins that can appear on the calves, thighs and even ankles. They affect primarily women but can affect men as well and are caused by a number of factors. These factors include heredity, hormonal shifts, occupations that require you to sit or stand for long periods of time, pregnancy as well as weight fluctuation. Spider veins may also be caused by trauma to the legs caused by falling or blows. Many women first notice them after gaining weight from pregnancy along with the hormonal changes. Spider veins do not pose any major health problems but can cause discomfort. There are safe and effective methods available for reducing spider and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is often done for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance and treat varicose and spider veins. It is usually considered the best treatment for small varicose veins. Sclerotherapy can also improve symptoms such as aching, swelling, burning and night cramps.
Prior to sclerotherapy, patients are required to have an initial consultation with Dr. Moenster or Dr. Weyer. They will determine if you’re a good candidate for sclerotherapy. Patients with a history of inflammation of the veins or blood clots are not good candidates for sclerotherapy. Patients with a history of diabetes, arterial vascular problems in the legs or even leg ulcers may not be able to have this procedure. Candidates who are pregnant are also not eligible for sclerotherapy. It is important to discuss any health conditions or medications with your doctor before having sclerotherapy. The size of the veins may also determine if you are a good candidate.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure performed in our office by Dr. Moenster or Dr. Weyer to treat spider and varicose veins of the legs. For the procedure, you will lie down. The established treatment area will be cleaned with alcohol. A super fine needle is used to inject Asclera, a painless medication, into the veins. The solution irritates the blood vessel, causing the vein to swell shut and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins.
If needles aren’t your thing, you can now opt to use our new anesthesia option called Pronox to help with any discomfort you may experience. Pronox is a patient-controlled inhaled analgesia that takes effect in seconds and immediately relieves anxiety and discomfort.
The treated vein will then become scar tissue, reabsorb into local tissue and eventually disappear. A mild discomfort, such as stinging or cramping may be experienced for a few minutes, especially when larger veins are treated. If you experience a lot of pain, tell your doctor. The needle is then withdrawn and compression and messages are then applied to the treated area. This keeps blood out of the injected vessel. A compression pad may be taped onto the injection site. The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins that are being treated.
Length of Procedure
Sclerotherapy is a short procedure done in our office. Dr. Moenster or Dr. Weyer will evaluate your medical history including recent or existing medical conditions, current medications, and supplements, allergies, smoking or oral contraceptive use as well as previously treated varicose veins. Next, the doctors will examine the involved veins and check for any underlying blood vessel disease. Once the physicians establish the correct course of treatment, the sclerotherapy process takes less than an hour. Shaving and applying any lotion to your legs should be avoided 24 hours before your procedure. Wearing of loose clothes or even shorts is helpful during the process.
Recovery, Risks, and Results
Post procedure, you will walk for 15 minutes a day after the procedure. The injection sites are checked for any side effects. You’ll be asked to wear compression stockings for about 5 – 7 days or longer to maintain compression on the treated veins.
Sclerotherapy is a relatively safe procedure with few complications. Risks of sclerotherapy may include bruising, raised red areas, small skin sores or multiple tiny red blood vessels at the site of the injection. If you experience any of these temporary side effects, they usually go away within a few days to several weeks. Other less common side effects may be inflammation, blood clot, air bubbles or an allergic reaction.
You are able to return to your normal activities on the same day. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for two weeks after the procedure. Additional treatments may be required one to two weeks after healing. The vessels will disappear anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months.
To learn more about vein injection (Sclerotherapy), or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Moenster or Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Weyer, please fill out the form on this page. You can call our Tucson location at 520-207-3100 or our Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787. We look forward to seeing you soon!