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3 Types of Sclerotherapy: Which Is Right for Me?

 3 Types of Sclerotherapy: Which Is Right for Me?

Spider veins are primarily a cosmetic concern, but sometimes, they can be a sign of more serious health problems. Usually, the primary treatment is removal. 

There are multiple approaches to treatment, including surgical alternatives, but one of the most commonly used techniques is sclerotherapy, an injectable process with several variations. Varicose veins on the other hand are almost always not a mere cosmetic concern.

If you’re interested in sclerotherapy, visit Dr. Clement Banda and our team at MD Vein & Skin Specialists in Columbia, Maryland. We’re sclerotherapy and varicose vein experts.  

How varicose veins form

Varicose veins and their milder cousins, spider veins, develop when vein tissue weakens and fails. Tiny valves within veins usually prevent the backward flow of blood, but tissue laxity and a variety of other potential causes allow blood to pool, pushing on vein walls and compromising the function of these valves. 

These pools form the visible symptoms of superficial varicose veins, which become dark and tangled. Because blood flow in your legs fights against gravity, they lose efficiency, making them the most common location for varicose veins to form. 

The sclerotherapy concept

A minimally invasive injectable treatment, sclerotherapy uses chemicals to fill and irritate the varicose walls. This irritation causes the vein to close itself. 

Over time, your body reabsorbs the varicose vein tissue while finding new routes to supply the cells in your body with blood. While all forms of sclerotherapy use a quick, in-office procedure from which you recover quickly, several types of sclerotherapy solutions exist. 

2 types of sclerotherapy

The oldest form of sclerotherapy is also one of the least used today, typically for visible varicose veins close to your skin’s surface. It’s called liquid sclerotherapy, and it uses the chemicals polidocanol and sodium tetradecyl sulfate, the two liquids currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose. 

At MD Vein and Skin Specialists, we rarely use liquid sclerotherapy except for the smallest veins. Instead, we prefer foam sclerotherapy. It’s a technique that seals veins shut more effectively, so it can handle bigger veins than liquid versions. 

Other benefits of foam sclerotherapy include: 

A proprietary form of foam sclerotherapy called Varithena® has FDA approval for the treatment of large veins that, in the past, required procedures like endovenous thermal ablation, requiring extensive use of local anesthetic along the length of the treated vein. Varithena is virtually painless, with 96% of patients reporting no pain in clinical trials. 

The right sclerotherapy choice depends on the unique nature of your varicose or spider vein condition. To learn more about the best option for you, book a consultation with MD Vein & Skin Specialists by phone or online. 

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