Sclerotherapy, also known as cosmetic sclerotherapy, is an effective outpatient treatment to quickly and painlessly remove small varicose veins and spider veins, also known as telangiectasias. Check out our photo gallery!
- What are spider veins, venular ectasias and small varicose veins?
- How do spider and varicose veins develop?
- Are spider veins and varicose veins dangerous?
- How does one decide what treatment, if any, is best?
- How is cosmetic sclerotherapy performed?
- Recovery is easy.
- Does insurance cover cosmetic sclerotherapy?
- Consults. Referrals. Scheduling. Appointments.
These are small blood vessels are most often seen on the upper front and lateral thighs, inner thighs just above the knees and on the feet and ankles. These veins are connected to larger blue veins, called reticular, or ‘feeder’ veins. These veins can put pressure on the smaller veins, causing them to dilate and become increasingly visible.
For women, female hormones, pregnancy, birth control and hormone replacement therapy are factors that can contribute to the formation of such veins. While spider veins, or telangiectasias, are a common cosmetic issue for women, men get spider and varicose veins too.
Heredity plays a role regarding whether you will develop pooling veins.
For both men and women, roles which require standing on legs — mothers, flight attendants, health care personnel, police, hair stylists, wait staff and retail workers — often contribute to spider and varicose veins.
While spider veins and telangiectasias are generally just a cosmetic problem, larger varicose veins may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. RIA Endovascular can help youdetermine whether a noninvasive vascular assessment (NIVA) — a Doppler ultrasound — is required to rule out more serious vein issues.
To learn more about the issue, read this article by interventional radiologist Peter Stratil, MD called Healthy-Looking Legs – Cosmetic Procedure or Something More?
To find out if a procedure or combination of procedures — such as sclerotherapy, foam sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, radiofrequency ablation or laser ablation — is right to treat your varicose and/or spider veins, call for an appointment. We can help you determine if a clinical evaluation is required, or in the case of cosmetic sclerotherapy only, you may be able to be treated without a diagnostic evaluation for other vein conditions.
A clinical exam includes:
- History and physical exam
- Detailed assessment of your legs, including a diagnostic ultrasound
- Pictures of the varicose veins for our medical records and your insurance company
- Explanation of potential procedures
The ultrasound, called a Non-Invasive Vascular Assessment (NIVA) takes 45 minutes per leg. It may be covered by insurance if it is not for a cosmetic-only procedure.
In cosmetic sclerotherapy, a ‘sclerosant’ solution such as polidocanol (Asclera®) or sodium tetradecyl sulfate, “STS” (Sotradecol®) is used. The solution is injected into the varicose or spider veins with a very tiny needle. The medicine causes the vein to seal itself and eventually be reabsorbed in the body. Healthy veins take over for the former defective veins; this improves circulation and often relieves heaviness, aching and leg fatigue.
You will be required to wear your compression stocking after the procedure as instructed.
You should experience symptomatic relief including reduced leg heaving and the cessation of itching and burning shortly after the treatment. The treated veins will gradually be reabsorbed by your body and disappear. See examples of our vein treatment results.
This procedure treats currently visible spider veins. It does not prevent the development of new spider veins.
Cosmetic vein procedures are generally not covered by insurance. However, sometimes we find a more serious underlying vein problem that is covered by insurance. If so, we will obtain pre-certification for any upcoming procedures from your insurance company. In that case, the sclerotherapy may be covered as part of your treatment plan.
If a diagnostic Non-Vascular Assessment (NIVA) ultrasound is required to assess your legs, the procedure is generally covered by insurance, as are medically necessary vein treatments. Pre-certification is likely to be required for vein treatments by your insurer. RIA Endovascular has its own in-house pre-certification and scheduling specialists to assist in this process.
Why go to RIA Endovascular?
RIA Endovascular offers a complete range of minimally invasive, clinically proven treatment options for varicose veins — both cosmetic and symptomatic — including laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, foam sclerotherapy and radiofrequency (RF) ablation procedures.
Our experienced endovascular surgeons, when not in the office, have performed thousands of image-guided procedures in hospital settings. Our medical clinic is more than a leg vein center; our physicians practice a full range of venous and arterial procedures.
If your leg vein problem is actually a symptom of a greater endovascular issue, our physicians are able to assess and treat the problem at its originating point. We get results. Check out our photo gallery.
Call 720.493.3406 today.