Varicose veins are a condition caused by damaged or weakened valves or walls in your veins. This can lead to edema. At O’Donnell Vein & Laser in Annapolis, MD, we are proud to offer several safe, effective methods for the elimination of varicose veins. Today, we are highlighting the 9 most incredible benefits of sclerotherapy.
The 9 Most Amazing Benefits of Sclerotherapy
1. Increased Wardrobe Options
Many people who suffer from varicose veins or spider veins hide their legs due to the noticeable blue, bulging veins. They avoid wearing swimwear, shorts, dresses and skirts because they are self-conscious about the lower half of their body. With sclerotherapy, you can feel confident in anything.
If you’re trying to figure out if this treatment is right for you, imagine yourself feeling beautiful in your favorite dress that is collecting dust in the back of your closet. Then, imagine having the self-confidence to wear that dress out to the bar and strike up a conversation with a cute stranger. That image feels great, doesn’t it? With this treatment, it can be your reality.
2. Enhanced Leg Appearance
The reason people with varicose veins lack confidence is the appearance of their legs. This treatment resolves this issue quickly and safely. Rather than blue, bulging veins putting pressure on your skin, your legs will be smooth and look healthy.
3. Pain Relief
Varicose veins are under a lot of pressure and put pressure on your skin. This causes discomfort and often causes pain. By killing the damaged, weakened veins, this treatment relieves the internal pressure experienced by the veins themselves and the pressure from bulging that the veins inflict onto surrounding tissues.
Eventually, these dead veins are absorbed by your body and disappear altogether. Your blood is re-routed to healthy veins that can withstand the “internal pressure” of the venous blood, and you feel no more pain or discomfort.
4. Outpatient Care
One of the best things about this treatment is it is performed on an out-patient basis. This means you don’t have to worry about what to pack for an overnight hospital stay. Each 15- to 30-minute treatment is performed in the comfort of our state-of-the-art office. After that, you are free to go back to whatever you had scheduled for the day.
This treatment is extremely safe. In fact, it was thoroughly vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and proven to be both safe and effective for the treatment of spider veins and varicose veins. Rather than removing or cutting skin or tissue, all that occurs during this treatment is strategically placed injections.
Not everyone is healthy enough for vein removal surgery. Not everyone has the PTO accrued to take time off of work during recovery. This treatment is accessible to nearly everyone. While the best candidates neither drink in excess nor smoke, the most significant factor determining if you are a good candidate for this treatment is your health.
If you are in good general health, including not having an active infection at the treatment site, you are probably a good candidate for this treatment. During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your health, the condition of your veins, the size of your varicose veins and their location to determine if this is the right varicose vein treatment method for you.
7. Length of Treatment
We understand that life is hectic. That’s why we’re excited to offer you the most convenient varicose vein treatments for your lifestyle and needs. Each treatment only takes between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the varicose or spider veins and how many veins you need treated during your treatment session.
During your initial consultation, we will give you an accurate estimate of how much time you need to plan for your vein therapy. That way, you can comfortably schedule your treatment into your busy schedule.
8. Length of Recovery
You suffer from chronic pain and discomfort due to your varicose veins. You don’t wear shorts or swimwear because you’re self-conscious about your legs. You’ve spent too long being affected by your varicose veins. That’s why we recommend this treatment. There is no pain or discomfort involved during or after treatment, and there’s almost no after-care required.
The only thing you have to do after your treatment is avoid excessive heat, blood-thinning medications and supplements and vigorous aerobic exercise for 72 hours. You should also wear a prescription compression garment to help speed along how quickly you see results. Other than that, you are free to get back to your regular routine.
9. Rapid Results
You’ve probably suffered from spider or varicose veins for years. It takes a little time for your sealed veins to shrivel away and be absorbed. However, you can expect to see your spider veins disappear within three to six weeks of your first treatment session.
Varicose veins typically disappear within three to four months of your first treatment session. More importantly, you will start to notice an improvement in swelling, localized blood pooling, discomfort and pain.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sclerotherapy
1. What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an FDA-approved spider vein treatment that can also be used to treat varicose veins. It involves the injection of a sclerosing solution, usually a medical-grade saltwater solution, into strategic points in the vein walls. Treatment is quick, painless and the pain-relieving benefits are apparent shortly after the treatment.
2. Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
One of the most significant benefits of this treatment is how accessible it is. If you are bothered by the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins of your legs, hands, arms or feet, are not pregnant and do not have localized blood clotting, you are a good candidate.
3. What Do I Need to Mention During My Initial Consultation?
Let us know during your initial consultation if you have an active infection requiring antibiotics. You should not be on antibiotics within two weeks of your treatment. Moreover, we need to know all medications, vitamin supplements and herbal supplements you are taking. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Certain medications, vitamins and supplements can thin your blood, which may affect the course or outcome of your treatment. During your initial consultation, we will give you a list of all medications and supplements you need to avoid for 48 hours before and 72 hours after your treatment. These include NSAIDs, vitamin E, fish oil and St. John’s Wort.
4. What If I’m Afraid of Needles?
The needles used to inject the sclerosing agent are so fine that they do not hurt when inserted into the walls of your veins. However, some people have a distaste for needles regardless of comfort.
We stand behind the safety, convenience and efficacy of this treatment. If you’re worried about the injections, we will apply a topical numbing agent to the treatment site so you will not feel a thing.
5. What Results Can I Expect?
You can expect to see between 60% and 80% of the treated veins disappear after your first treatment session. The remaining 20% to 40% of treated veins will have to be treated again. Spider veins and smaller varicose veins are usually destroyed after only one treatment session. Larger varicose veins typically require two treatment sessions.
6. What If I’m Pregnant?
This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, there is a good chance that your spider veins and varicose veins are caused by increased venous blood pressure and lower abdominal weight gain due to pregnancy. Within a few months of giving birth, your venous blood volume and weight should return to normal and your veins will become healthy again.
If you have suffered from spider veins or varicose veins since before you were pregnant, there may be better treatment methods for you at this time. For example, walking regularly, wearing compression garments and elevating your legs above your heart are great ways to improve your condition.
7. Why Do I Need My Spider Veins Treated?
Most people have their spider veins treated for cosmetic reasons. However, depending on the severity of your spider veins, they may cause health risks, such as bleeding.
8. Why Do I Need to Treat My Varicose Veins?
There are many reasons to treat your varicose veins. First, they are typically over three millimeters in diameter and twisted in shape. This makes most people self-conscious about wearing cute clothes. Second, you should see a vein specialist right away if you experience any symptoms, such as swelling in the ankle or leg, feeling heavy or fatigued, cramping or pain.
It is especially important to contact us if your symptoms get worse as the day goes on, flare-up while traveling or appear to be triggered when you sit or stand for too long.
Untreated varicose veins can lead to a myriad of health conditions, including bleeding, leg sores, blood clots, infections and rashes. If your venous blood clot breaks, it can flow all the way to your lungs, lodge itself into a lung and cause a pulmonary embolism. This is a potentially life-threatening condition.
9. What Are the Leading Risk Factors of Varicose Veins?
The leading risk factors of varicose veins are hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, pregnancy and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include regular prolonged periods of standing still, family history, hormonal imbalances and age.
10. What Can I Do to Mitigate the Risk of Future Varicose Veins?
The risk of developing varicose veins increases drastically as you age. While you can’t stop the aging process, you can take steps to keep your veins healthy. If you’re over the age of 45, take a very close look at your sodium and water intake. Excess sodium and dehydration both increase your risk of hypertension. Drink at least eight cups of water daily and don’t add salt to your food when you cook.
You can’t do anything directly about your genetics, however, knowing that you have a family history of varicose veins can motivate you to make healthier decisions. For example, you should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. This equates to just a 30-minute walk on your lunch break at work five days per week.
While it can be tricky to use your heart rate to measure the intensity of your exercise, here are some simple questions to ask yourself:
- Is my breathing faster but not breathless?
- Can I have a conversation but not sing?
- Did I start to sweat lightly around 10 minutes after starting?
If you can answer in the affirmative to these questions, you are walking fast enough for your exercise to be considered moderate.
Learn More Today
Varicose veins are uncomfortable and painful, aesthetically unappealing and can negatively affect your health. To learn more about the amazing benefits of sclerotherapy, contact the dedicated vein experts at O’Donnell Vein & Laser in Annapolis, MD today to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to help you achieve the legs of your dreams, improve your comfort and protect your health.