Sclerotherapy treatment at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists

Sclerotherapy for Spider & Varicose Veins in Traverse City & Cadillac, MI

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a vein treatment primarily used to treat spider veins and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy involves the use of a very small needle to inject a solution into the diseased veins. The solutions work by causing the veins to shrink, close off, and gradually disappear. At Northern Michigan Vein Specialists, we specialize in treating vein conditions with sclerotherapy, conveniently located near you at either our Cadillac or Traverse City offices.

Sclerotherapy Treatment Areas

Sclerotherapy is most commonly used on the legs but in the right setting, it can be used for treating spider and varicose veins anywhere. Other potential areas are the face, hands, and chest. For very fine spider veins of the face, we typically favor VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis.

Candidates for Sclerotherapy

There really aren’t any restrictions on who can have sclerotherapy to remove their spider veins. The procedure is simple and reactions to the sclerosant are exceedingly rare. Typical liquid sclerotherapy doesn’t work well on varicose veins that push the skin upward. However, we also use foam sclerotherapy which is a great option for varicose veins.

How Do I Begin Sclerotherapy Treatment?

During the initial consultation, your legs will be examined, and any questions you may have will be answered. You may also discuss your expectations and anticipated results. At this point, an estimate of the number of treatments, affiliated costs, and payment will be covered which will vary depending on the size and extent of your problem. You should then be able to schedule an appointment for treatment.

MEET Dr. Brian Heeringa, Board Certified

Dr. Heeringa is a Board-Certified General Surgeon, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Diplomate of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. He and his team treat a broad spectrum of venous conditions ranging from spider veins to varicose veins to venous ulcers and everything in between. We also offer DVT risk assessment and can help manage post thrombotic syndrome. Call today to find out how our team can help you with all your venous care needs!

Types of Sclerotherapy

Visual Sclerotherapy

Visual sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure utilized to treat veins that are visible on the surface including spider veins, reticular veins, bleeding veins and some varicose veins. The procedure involves injecting a solution directly into the affected veins using a fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the veins, causing them to collapse and eventually fade away over time. As the veins gradually disappear, the skin’s appearance becomes smoother.

Ultrasound-Guided Foam or Liquid Sclerotherapy Treatment

Ultrasound-guided foam or liquid sclerotherapy is an advanced, minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose and perforating veins. In this technique, a specialized ultrasound device is used to guide the injection of a foam or liquid sclerosing agent directly into the targeted veins, which causes an inflammatory reaction and causes the vein to seal shut. This procedure is highly effective, with the added advantage of precise guidance through ultrasound imaging, ensuring accurate treatment and enhancing outcomes.

Sclerotherapy Procedure

We use a very tiny needle for sclerotherapy, as the injections do not need to be overly deep. Because of this, patients usually say the feeling of the procedure is akin to that of a pinprick or a mosquito bite. We will first discuss which veins you want to treat. We will then inject the sclerosant solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the walls of the vein, causing them to collapse. This closes off the vein and any minor amount of blood running through it is instantly redirected to a healthier nearby vein.

How Long Will My Sclerotherapy Treatment Take?

Sclerotherapy treatment sessions usually last 25-30 minutes. Every patient is different, and the number of sessions needed varies depending on the severity of your condition. Most cases require three to six treatments; however, this is only a guideline, and your individual case may be different. Your legs may begin to show improvement in as little as a few weeks, but the best results are usually seen after several treatment sessions. After healing has occurred, spider vein “roadmaps” and bulging varicose veins will be gone, leaving you with healthy, great-looking legs.

What Kind of Aftercare is Required Following Sclerotherapy?

Other than wearing compression stockings, there is nothing you need to do. We do recommend the use of Dermaka cream to help limit bruising and to lower the risk of staining.

How Long After My Sclerotherapy Procedure Will I See Results?

The vein will instantly diminish in appearance but may look inflamed or irritated soon after the procedure. Over the next few weeks, the body scavenges and removes the unused vein. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to see maximum benefit. While you should notice significant improvement after your first session, most people require more than one session to completely eradicate spider veins.

Sclerotherapy Recovery

After we have injected your spider veins, if you’ve had a number of veins treated, we will likely have you wear compression stockings for a week. Compression helps the body begin the process of absorbing the closed-off veins and prevents blood from re-filling the veins that were treated. Walking and light exercise is fine immediately after your session. If you’ve had several veins treated, you should avoid any strenuous exercise for a few days.

Are There Any Restrictions on My Activity After My Vein Reduction Treatment?

There are usually no restrictions on physical activity after sclerotherapy and in fact, exercise is encouraged, although high-impact aerobics should be eliminated for 1 week. We do discourage direct sun exposure to treated areas for a couple of weeks after each treatment (sunscreens are adequate protection during this time).

Is Sclerotherapy Painful?

The needles used at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists are very small and tend to feel like a mosquito bite. Most people find this relatively painless.

Will the Spider Veins Return After Sclerotherapy?

The veins treated with sclerotherapy are destroyed and will be reabsorbed by the body so they can’t come back. However, nothing can be done to prevent your body from forming new spider veins. But new spider veins can be treated just as effectively as the previous ones with sclerotherapy. We cannot cure venous disease — but we can control and maintain it!

Side Effects of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy was first described in the 1600s, but we have had good medicines for sclerotherapy since 1946, and it has proven safe and effective. There is a very low risk of any reaction to the sclerosant solution. Tens of millions of sclerosant injections have been given, and sclerotherapy continues to be the method of choice for treating spider veins. Minor issues may be some redness at the injection sites and slight irritation, but side effects are rare beyond that.

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