Sclerotherapy | Varicose Veins | Vein Therapy | The Woodlands | Houston | Katy | Spring
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy: a “sclerosant” (chemical solution) is injected into spider veins and sometimes larger veins. These sclerosants irritate and close the lining of your veins over weeks to months. Sclerotherapy in the past often caused burning and cramping pain. This was common if saline was used. Newer and more effective sclerosants are relatively painless. Some sclerosants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (sotradecol, polidocanol) while others are off label (Glycerin). Sclerosants are selected based on the best available evidence for your safety and efficacy. Regardless of the solution used, multiple sessions are needed and stockings
are worn for three weeks after each treatment. Without compression, your side effects are greater and your benefits are less.
This specialized treatment uses a foamy solution (sclerosant + gas/air) to treat veins that are either difficult to see or more resistant. The foam is made up of tiny bubbles that is more sticky to veins. Foam sclerotherapy is highly effective and in some cases, it may be more beneficial than surgery. The FDA considers the use of foam sclerosant to be off-label. When injecting foam, an ultrasound is often used to enhance its safety & accuracy.
Side effects of foam are potentially more serious and safety guidelines are strictly followed to ensure your success. Multiple sessions are needed for best results.
Under local anesthesia, large bulging varicose veins are physically removed through small, slit-like incisions. You go home the same day and your small incisions heal without stitches. Microphlebectomy takes 1-2 hours and is not the same as traditional stipping and ligation.
Microphlebectomy is usually part of other treatments such as endovenous ablation and or foam sclerotherapy.
Endovenous Thermal Ablation (ETA)
ETA is now the preferred treatment for GSV reflux . It is a more effective than traditional stripping and ligation, with less side effects and faster patient recovery. Under local anesthesia and ultrasound guidance, a catheter is inserted into the GSV through a small incision at the knee. As the catheter is withdrawn, it destroys the vein internally by heat, either with radiofrequency (VNUS) or laser. ETA takes 1-2 hours and patients go home with stockings. You may actively walk and carry on with normal activities. ETA has changed vein therapy by being safer and more effective with faster patient recovery than traditional stripping. While on faculty, Dr Nguyen was the first to perform this procedure at the Mayo Clinic in 1998 .