Vein Treatment with Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins, reticular veins, and varicose veins. Dr. Zimmet injects special medication into the problematic veins with tiny needles. After this procedure is performed, the vein seals shut and gradually dissolves.
Although we use very small needles when doing sclerotherapy, there is still some discomfort. Dr. Zimmet now uses COOLSclero™ to minimize discomfort. By utilizing a cooling technique with sclerotherapy the patient feels noticeably less pain, but sees the same excellent results.
Dr. Zimmet injects medication called sclerosants since they “sclerose,” or close, the treated vein. The treatment causes the veins to seal, shrink and then gradually dissolve. There are a variety of types of sclerosants, but Dr. Zimmet typically uses Sotradecol, Asclera (an FDA-approved form of polidocanol), and/or a combination of dextrose and saline. He is not a proponent of hypertonic saline due to significant burning discomfort patients experience during treatment.
Before administering sclerotherapy, Dr. Zimmet performs an evaluation in order to determine what the most appropriate treatment option(s) are. There are three sclerotherapy techniques that Dr. Zimmet uses:
- Liquid Sclerotherapy – Liquid sclerotherapy is used for treating small veins. With liquid sclerotherapy, the sclerosant solution is injected into the target veins on the surface of the skin.
- Foam Sclerotherapy - Foam sclerotherapy is used for treating larger varicose veins. With foam sclerotherapy, Sotradecol or Asclera is mixed with air or another gas prior to its injection, creating a foamy solution which increases its strength and effectiveness.
- Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy – This procedure is used to treat veins below the surface of the skin. Dr. Zimmet observes the vein with an ultrasound machine while performing the injections.
Typically, between two and five treatments are required to obtain the desired results, depending on the number of spider veins and how responsive they are. Treatments are performed approximately four weeks apart. Following the treatments, the veins seal shut and gradually dissolve.
- Treatments are done in the office in about 20-30 minutes.
- After a procedure is completed, we ask you to walk on our treadmill for 15 minutes.
- We recommend aerobic activity, such as walking or biking, for 30 minutes or more per day for a week.
- A compression stocking should be worn for three to seven days, depending on what type of veins are treated.
- Finally, avoid hot baths, heavy lifting and long travel for a week. Patients may resume any other normal daily activities.
Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider, reticular and varicose veins, and may be combined with other techniques in some patients. Dr. Zimmet evaluates each individual patient to determine what treatment fits best.