Not all types of vein disease are created equally. So it makes sense that not all types of vein treatment are the same. Whether sclerotherapy or another treatment for spider or varicose veins is right for you depends on the type of veins you have. Your vein doctor can help you decide which treatment method is best. But, before that, here are a few ways that sclerotherapy differs from the other options available.
What Makes Sclerotherapy Different
It’s an Injection
One of the biggest differences between sclerotherapy and treatments such as endovenous laser ablation or ambulatory phlebectomy is that the treatment involves injecting a solution into the veins of the legs. When a doctor performs phlebectomy, he makes small incisions around the veins, then uses a hook to remove any bulging or ropey varicose veins. During laser treatment, a laser fiber is threaded into the vein.
It Uses a Chemical Solution
While laser treatments use lasers to destroy and remove the veins and phlebectomy physically removes the veins from the legs, sclerotherapy uses chemicals to destroy and eliminate the problem veins. The veins that are treated with the chemical solution shrivel up and collapse and end up fading from view.
It Works on Superficial, Small Veins
Different vein treatments are designed to work on different types and sizes of veins. Sclerotherapy is often best for spider veins, which are small and near the surface of the skin. A version of the treatment that also uses ultrasound imaging may be used for veins that are deeper in the leg and for small varicose veins. Meanwhile, treatments like phlebectomy are best for bulging, larger veins that are near the skin’s surface.
While you might need multiple treatment sessions (anywhere from three to five, depending on how many spider veins you have), sclerotherapy does tend to be quicker than other vein treatments. How long it takes depends on the size of the area that you’re getting treated, but you can expect to spend less than 15 minutes in the doctor’s office per treatment session. After treatment, you don’t need to spend much time resting and recuperating. You might be able to get back to your daily activities right away. The only thing that you might want to change after the treatment is that you might want to wear compression stockings for a while, to help improve your results.
It’s Less Painful
Although every one has different pain thresholds or a different idea about what they consider to be “less painful,” generally speaking, injections are less painful that laser treatments or phlebectomy. You might feel a slight pinch when the doctor inserts the needle in the skin. Some people also feel a stinging or tingling sensation as the chemical solution does its work. If you’re ready to more fully weigh the pros and cons when it comes to various vein treatments and want more information on which option is right for you, call 859-286-7333 to schedule a consultation at Vascular & Interventional Associates Vein Center in Northern Kentucky today.