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Ultrasound-Guided vs. Visual Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound-Guided vs. Visual Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a treatment for varicose and spider veins that involves a tiny injection of a special solution into the affected vein. There are two main ways in which a specialist finds the correct vein and the place where the injection should be done.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy means an ultrasound machine is used to get an image of the vein, making it easier to find the right place for the injection. This is used for larger, diseased superficial veins that are not seen on the surface of the skin, such as the trunk veins and their tributaries.

Visual sclerotherapy is used when the veins can be seen by the naked eye. They are smaller veins on the surface of the skin, such as reticular and spider veins.

Varicose veins are large, blue, twisted-looking veins that are just under the skin, usually in the legs. There are several causes for developing varicose veins, but heredity is the most common cause. When the tiny valves in the veins that help push the blood against gravity become weak, the blood may pool in the vein, causing it to bulge. Other causes are:

  • Obesity, which puts too much pressure on the veins in the legs, causing the heart to overwork to push the blood up the legs to the heart.
  • Sedentary lifestyle, which means a person sits for long periods, cutting off circulation to the legs.
  • Long periods of standing, such as in the job of a teacher, nurse or dentist, that make the veins overwork.
  • Pregnancy can also cause varicose veins because of the added pressure to the legs. Other hormonal changes, such as menopause and birth control pills, may cause venous insufficiency.

In sclerotherapy, the injected solution affects the wall of the problematic vein. This makes the vein collapse and eventually become absorbed by the immune system. The blood returns to the heart through stronger interior veins in the legs.

If you believe you are developing varicose veins and would like a consultation with our specialist, you can learn about your treatment options. Sclerotherapy is very safe, with the vast majority of patients experiencing no complications. After treatment, patients may be asked to wear compression stockings for a few weeks.

Varicose veins may not be dangerous, but if they are left untreated, they could become dangerous if a blood clot forms in the vein. At Vein Specialists of Pittsburgh in Oakmont, our specialist can diagnose your symptoms and treat your varicose and spider veins to have smooth legs again.

During your consultation at our office, you can work with our doctor to determine whether ultrasound-guided or visual sclerotherapy is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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