About Cosmetic Sclerotherapy
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.
What are spider veins, venular ectasias, and small varicose veins?
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.
How do the spider and varicose veins develop?
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.
Are spider veins and vericose veins dangerous?
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?
How does one decide what treatment, if any, is best?
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 examPhysician With Patient
- 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.
How is cosmetic sclerotherapy performed?
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.
Recovery is easy
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.
This procedure treats currently visible spider veins. It does not prevent the development of new spider veins.
Does insurance cover sclerotherapy?
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 use RIA Endovascular?
RIA Endovascular offers the most comprehensive treatment for varicose and spider veins. Our board-certified physicians use state-of-the-art technology in a beautiful, relaxing andprofessional environment. We provide complete vein care treatment — both medical and cosmetic — using the newest proven techniques. Our goal is healthy, beautiful legs!
- Extensive experience — more than 10,000 image-guided endovascular procedures performed
- Dedication to the treatment of vein diseases
- In-office diagnosis and treatment, with no need for a hospital visit
- Ultrasound evaluation with immediate report
- Minimally invasive procedures with quick recovery time – no stitches!