What Is Sclerotherapy?

Have you ever noticed that when you look good, you also feel good? It should come as no surprise that self-confidence is closely linked to appearance. But when you have unsightly spider veins, or bulging, painful varicose veins, the last thing you want to do is show off your legs. What should be a fun vacation with family and friends at the beach quickly turns into a game of how many different ways you can cover up your legs — or completely avoid activities altogether out of embarrassment.

So, how do we get these spider and varicose veins in the first place? Under healthy conditions, veins carry blood back to the heart against gravity. But if the one-way valves within your veins are damaged or weakened, blood leaks backwards and pools, creating the unsightly web-like or bruised appearance. In the case of varicose veins, the visible symptom is usually accompanied by pain and discomfort resulting from the bulging veins.

Thankfully, there’s help. Fadi Bacha, MD, founder and lead physician at the Anti-Aging Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, offers a solution: sclerotherapy, a tried-and-true treatment for spider and varicose veins. With more than two decades of experience in internal medicine and venous care, our team gives you the 411 on this procedure below, which has been the go-to treatment for spider and varicose veins since the 1930s.

Sclerotherapy safely treats spider and varicose veins

Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure that safely treats spider and varicose veins. Once Dr. Bacha determines you are a candidate for the treatment by doing a thorough ultrasound examination of the lower extremities, you’ll come to the office for your first session. Prior to your appointment, Dr. Bacha provides specific instructions for treatment day, but there’s minimal prep to worry about. You’ll need to avoid certain medicines, wear loosely fitted clothing, and avoid putting lotions or creams on your legs.  

During the session, he’ll inject a fine needle filled with a chemical irritant or solution into the affected vein. Depending on the size, location, and health of the affected vein, he may inject the solution in several locations during one session or break it up over several sessions. A typical session lasts under an hour. Over the next several weeks, the chemical solution irritates and causes the vein to collapse and ultimately be reabsorbed into the body.

Minimally invasive; no downtime

One of the major pluses of sclerotherapy is that it’s minimally invasive. Since it’s not a surgical procedure, no anesthesia is required. Dr. Bacha will send you home with post-treatment instructions. You can resume normal activities, but will need to wear compression stockings and avoid strenuous exercise for about two weeks. Depending on the severity of your spider or varicose veins and the desired outcome, several treatment sessions may be needed. 

Look good, feel great

Sclerotherapy can help you get back to living a full, productive life without the embarrassment and discomfort of unsightly spider and varicose veins. In the matter of several weeks, you’ll be back to looking good and feeling great about yourself again. Keeping up with your children and grandchildren, ditching the long pants, and shopping for new clothing are potential “side effects” — but we think you can handle it.  

If you have spider or varicose veins and want to find out if you’re a candidate for sclerotherapy, contact Fadi Bacha, MD, and the highly experienced staff at Anti-Aging Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, for a consultation. Book online or call today.

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