Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
Are varicose or spider veins on your legs affecting your quality of life?Unfortunately, varicose veins can detract from the appearance of the legs, making them a source of self-esteem issues and embarrassment. These veins can also cause pain and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, as well as leg fatigue.
Fortunately, there are simple and safe solutions to eliminate these veins. One of the most advanced treatments is called ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, a highly effective technique that is particularly good at treating problematic varicose veins on the legs. If you’re tired of dealing with these veins, this procedure may be the ideal vein-treatment option for you.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an injection-based method of getting rid of unwanted veins. It can be used to treat veins ranging from tiny spider veins to larger bulging varicose veins. The treatment involves administration of a medication known as a sclerosing agent into the veins. This diminishes the appearance of the veins over time. It also helps with reducing or eliminating symptoms associated with these veins.
What is Injected with Sclerotherapy?
The two most commonly used agents which are used to inject both spider veins and varicose veins are sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a.k.a., Sotradecol) and polidocanol (a.k.a., Asclera). These products are FDA approved for the treatment of problematic veins and have been used for many years with impressive results. The newest FDA approved product for the treatment of varicose veins is Varithena.
Foam Sclerotherapy vs. Liquid Sclerotherapy
The difference between liquid sclerotherapy and foam sclerotherapy is simple: the medium of the product used is different. In liquid sclerotherapy, the sclerosing agent, which may be diluted to different concentrations, is injected in its native liquid form. In foam sclerotherapy, the liquid agent is mixed with either room air or other gases to make a foam.
Foam sclerotherapy is more potent than liquid sclerotherapy. The reason is that when a liquid is injected into a vein, it has only a short time to be effective before it becomes diluted by the blood. When foam is injected, on the other hand, it displaces the blood from the vein for a longer period of time, giving the medication a longer time to be effective to work on the vein wall.
While liquid sclerotherapy is the best treatment choice for spider veins and smaller reticular veins (as foam would be too potent on these), foam sclerotherapy is clearly the better choice for larger reticular veins, small varicose veins, and sometimes larger varicose veins as well. (Large varicose veins, however, are often best treated with microphlebectomies).
When is Ultrasound Guidance Needed for Foam Sclerotherapy?
When varicose veins are being injected with foam, ultrasound guidance is used tohelp enter the veins and also to observe the veins as they fill with foam. This allows for precise treatment of the target area. Without ultrasound guidance it would be difficult to know if the product is safely entering the vein and if enough has been injected to treat all of the veins of concern.
Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy can also be used to treat the deeper source of the varicose veins that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Reticular veins on the skin’s surface, often associated with spider veins, can be injected with foam without the use of ultrasound guidance.
The Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy Procedure
At Beach Aesthetics, ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy is a very easy treatment for you to undergo.
The entire procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance. The procedure begins by identifying the exact veins to be treated on an ultrasound monitor. The veins are then precisely entered under ultrasound guidance with a tiny needle. Then the foam is injected and observed with ultrasound as the veins fill. Once all of your veins have been treated, the needle is removed, and the procedure is over.
After the treatment a compression stocking is placed on your treated leg. Immediately after treatment you will be asked to walk for a short while to help stimulate blood flow and distribute the medication in the veins. You are then free to go about your day.
What to Expect After Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?
Immediately following ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy you may notice mild itching or burning at the treated area. This usually goes away within a few minutes.
In the days to weeks to comeyou may notice some hard tender areas at the treatment sites. This is normal and part of the healing process. Sometimes the treated veins develop smalltender clots in them. If this happens, the clot can be expressed with a tiny needle at your follow-up visit.
Do I have to wear compression stockings after Sclerotherapy?
Compression stockings are typically worn for a brief time after sclerotherapy. At Beach Aesthetics, patients are asked to wear them for one week after treatment. They should be worn throughout the day. Some patients wear them when they sleep, but you don’t have to do so.
Are there any restrictions on flying after Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?
You will need to avoid air travel for three days after ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, as your body may be impacted by higher altitudes. After that you are free to fly.
Are there any other restrictions on Activities after Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?
You can likely return to work immediately after the treatment. However, we recommend putting high-intensity workouts such as weightlifting and aerobics on hold for about a week. It is also advised that you avoid hot baths, spas and hot yoga for one week after treatment. After one week, you can resume all normal activities without restrictions.
What Results Should I Expect after Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?
During the healing period, the foam sclerosant causes the vein to close off and eventually be reabsorbed into the body’s surrounding tissues. As it disappears, the skin of the area regains a smooth appearance.
Some patients develop an element of hyperpigmentation at sites of ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, particularly in larger veins at the skin’s surface. If this happens, it diminishes slowly over time. Most of the time hyperpigmentation resolves completely.
Initial results of this treatment can be seen immediately after the procedure, and within one month, the full results should be visible. For veins that are larger and more stubborn, multiple treatments may be required to achieve desired results.
Am Ia good Candidate for Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?
If you have bulging varicose veins on your legs, you may be a good candidate for ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. Of course, there are other matters that must be considered, including first identifying and treating the source of your varicose veins.
There are many treatment options for eliminating varicose veins. The best treatment for you depends upon multiple factors, includingbut not limited to the size of the veins and what is causing them. To know for sure if ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy is a good choice for you, a formal consultationwith a vein specialist is necessary.
Ready to Find Out More About This Treatment?
To learn more about ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy in El Segundo, contact our office and schedule your consultation with Dr. Rayman, a true expert in the treatment of varicose veins. He will be happy to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.