Sclerotherapy – How Long Does It Last?

Sclerotherapy – How Long Does It Last?

The state-of-the-art treatment for eliminating unsightly or bothersome veins is sclerotherapy. This popular, minimally invasive treatment is highly effective in reducing the symptoms and appearance of certain veins. But a common question about sclerotherapy is how long does it last?

 

What Is Sclerotherapy?

Vein doctors consider sclerotherapy to be the best and most effective treatment for spider and reticular veins, and some smaller varicose veins.

Some people want vein treatment because they are bothered by the veins’ appearance, while some suffer with uncomfortable symptoms. Sclerotherapy will make both types of patients happy. However, insurance will usually only cover treatment costs if it’s a medical necessity.

Sclerotherapy treatment is used to treat veins on the calves, thighs, and other places on your body. It’s a treatment that permanently eliminates existing troubling veins.

During sclerotherapy, your doctor will inject a specialized solution into the vein. The vein becomes irritated and collapses. Blood can’t flow through the damaged vein and instead moves through a nearby healthy vein.

The collapsed vein is naturally reabsorbed into other tissue and is no longer seen through the skin nor painful for the patient.

 

About the Sclerotherapy Treatment

A sclerotherapy treatment can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Patients enjoy the fact that the procedure does not require any anesthesia.

Treatment time will in part depend on how many veins are being treated and the condition of the veins being treated.

If only a few small spider veins in close proximity to one another are to be removed, you might only need one treatment session.

If many veins of various sizes and locations need to be treated, the varicose vein specialist will need to schedule several treatments—usually about a month apart. The varicose vein specialist often treats all veins in two to four sessions.

At the start of the procedure, the medical professional applies numbing cream to the treatment area. This will keep the patient from feeling any pain when the sclerosing agent is injected.

With visual sclerotherapy, the doctor injects a sclerosing agent directly into the vein. This treatment works extremely well for spider veins and reticular veins.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is often the best way to treat reticular veins and some varicose veins.

Most people resume their regular activities after the procedure. However, you will want to avoid strenuous activity for about a week. You should also avoid hot showers and baths, and direct sunlight.

 

A woman sitting on her bed putting on compression stockings.

 

Your varicose vein doctor may direct you to wear compression socks or stockings for up to two weeks following the treatment—especially when you expect to be on your feet for extended periods of time. Walking for a half-hour a day for the first few weeks will help with results and recovery.

Soon you will see the results you want. With spider veins, you will enjoy results in as little as three to six weeks, with up to 80% of treated veins disappearing after each treatment. Larger veins may take longer to show results, taking three to four months.

Here you can watch an actual demonstration of veins disappearing after sclerotherapy treatment.

 

 

How Long Does Sclerotherapy Treatment Last?

Sclerotherapy treatment produces long-lasting results. More precisely, the treated veins will permanently fade away as they collapse and will not be used again by your body. They will never need further treatment.

However, if the original causes leading to spider and reticular vein development persist, new veins will likely develop as time goes on. People often confuse these new veins with a reappearance of the old veins, but this is never the case.

Sclerotherapy treatment is effective and permanent. But it does nothing to keep new problem veins from developing.

Are new problem veins likely to develop after treatment? It depends on whether the causing conditions still exist.

 

A woman sitting at a desk at working on her laptop.

 

These conditions include:

  • Family history
  • Being female
  • Pregnancy or taking birth-control or hormone replacement pills
  • Being overweight
  • Taking certain medications
  • Continuously sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Aging

Hereditary factors will strongly determine whether you develop more veins in the future. In fact, if both of your parents have varicose veins, you have a probability of about 90% of developing them again in the future. Happily, should new problem veins develop, sclerotherapy will successfully eliminate these new veins too.

 

Are You a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?

Your overall health will determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for this treatment. A consultation with a varicose vein doctor will give you a definitive answer. Happily, most people who are interested in this treatment are excellent candidates.

If you are a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding, you will need to hold off treatment until after delivery or until breastfeeding concludes.

 

A close-up of a woman’s healthy and attractive legs

 

How to Help Keep New Problem Veins from Developing

After sclerotherapy you will want to keep your legs looking and feeling great. The key to keeping new spider or varicose veins from developing is to work toward a strong vascular system.

This includes:

  • Eating a balanced diet, low in salt, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping at or getting to a healthy weight
  • Avoiding putting unnecessary stress on your body
  • Avoiding high heels
  • Avoiding sitting or standing continuously for long amounts of time
  • Walking daily
  • Staying on certain medications—check with your doctor
  • Wearing compression socks when flying or taking a long car trip

Contact us at The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center to learn more about sclerotherapy treatment with our vein specialist.

Can Spider Veins Come Back After Treatment?

Can Spider Veins Come Back After Treatment?

You’ve seen them before. And now you’re seeing them again! Those pesky, unattractive spider veins.

Perhaps you originally had them around your ankles or on your thighs and you sought treatment.

Now they seem to have reappeared, and you’re asking, can spider veins come back after treatment?

 

About Spider Veins

Spider veins are those thin red or blue veins on your skin’s surface.

You will commonly find spider veins on thighs and calves. They also appear on the face and breasts.

Spider veins can be itchy and annoying, or cause legs to feel slightly tired. But they are rarely painful and are almost always harmless.

Today, doctors consider sclerotherapy the best treatment for the removal of spider veins. But this isn’t always the medical procedure performed.

A close-up of spider veins on the skin

 

Reasons Spider Veins Return

There are several reasons spider veins return, or at least seem to return.

But what happens most often is that new spider veins develop in the same area after treatment.

So, it’s not that the spider veins that were treated are returning. Rather, new spider veins show up and are mistaken for the original veins.

Reasons spider veins return in the same area include:

  • A person has venous insufficiency, so deeper, untreated veins are causing the development of new spider veins
  • A person’s body doesn’t properly regulate new vein formation
  • The person continues with activities that cause spider veins, such as long periods of sitting or standing, or staying obese
  • Saline or skin laser was improperly used to treat them
  • Genetics

Graphic showing legs in various stages of venous disease 

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a progressive vein disease. A vein specialist can treat it, but venous insufficiency will not go away on its own.

If a person has venous insufficiency, the underlying varicose veins combined with an increase in venous pressure encourage the development of new spider veins.

So new spider veins form.

It seems like the old ones are returning, but they’re not.

Doctors can diagnose venous insufficiency with a simple, painless ultrasound of your legs. This will show whether your vein valves are working correctly, and whether you have this condition.

Spider vein treatment should be delayed until this test is performed. If the cause of the spider veins is indeed venous insufficiency, the underlying veins need to be treated first.

If the underlying problem remains untreated, the spider veins are sure to return.

And venous insufficiency needs to be treated for health reasons.

Endovenous laser ablation (EVLT) or Varithena, a micro-foam sclerosant, are favored ways to treat venous insufficiency.

The spider vein won’t be under pressure once the varicose vein receives treatment. At that time, sclerotherapy can treat the spider veins successfully.

If spider veins recur after sclerotherapy, they usually come back in a much less severe form. This happens quite some time after the sclerotherapy procedure.

 

Genetics and Hormones

If your genetic makeup is encouraging the development of spider veins, trying to get rid of them is an uphill battle.

How do you know your spider veins are caused by genetics?

The easiest way to find out is to ask immediate family members if they’re developing spider veins, too. If they are, you have your answer!

If they aren’t, your spider veins may still be genetic. But the good news is that spider veins caused by genetics are no reason for any health concerns.

Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause can also encourage the development of spider veins.

 

 Laser Therapy

Some doctors use laser therapy as a treatment for spider veins.

Many patients find this procedure to be painful since heat is applied directly to the skin. It also takes a longer time to treat a small area.

Lasers can also cause hypopigmentation­—­a loss of melanin in the skin.

But most discouraging is that if the laser doesn’t produce enough heat to seal the vein, the procedure will fail. For this reason, you will need additional treatments.

 

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the state-of-the-art treatment for spider veins.

It is considerably more effective and faster than laser treatment. And you don’t feel pain.

During sclerotherapy, the doctor injects a solution or sclerosing agent into the vein.

This causes the vein to scar and collapse. Eventually, you can no longer see the vein since it is resorbed by the body.

Sodium chloride is no longer considered an acceptable sclerosing agent. It can be  painful for the patient and can cause serious complications.

Eighty percent of spider veins treated by visual sclerotherapy usually disappear in three to six weeks. So even one treatment of sclerotherapy will create noticeable results.

Patients may need new treatments every few years if new spider veins appear.

A smiling middle-aged woman walking in the park

 

How Can You Keep Spider Veins from Recurring?

Are there things you can do after treatment to keep more spider veins from developing?

The answer is yes.

They include:

  • Exercising your legs regularly
  • Staying at or getting to a healthy weight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Wearing compression stockings or socks

If you want to learn more about spider veins, read:

If you are seeking effective, safe, and comfortable treatment for your spider veins, contact us at NJVVC.

Spider Veins on Ankles and How To Treat Them

Spider Veins on Ankles and How To Treat Them

Do you have clusters of red, blue, or purple veins on your ankles or feet? Are these veins thin and close to the surface of the skin? If so, it sounds like you have spider veins. Many people come to our vein center asking about the spider veins on their ankles and how to treat them.

 

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins develop when blood gathers in the veins that exist near your skin’s surface. These veins have stopped working efficiently because they are weak or damaged. Blood backs up and pools, causing the veins to become visible.

 

Why Are Spider Veins Commonly Found on Ankles and Feet?

Ankles and feet are prone to developing spider veins. Slower blood circulation and increased pressure on veins causes feet to swell. This encourages the formation of spider veins.

You also find spider veins on the thighs, calves, and face.

Outside in a park, a standing daughter has her arms gently around her sitting mother

 

What Factors Influence the Development of Spider Veins?

Heredity plays a major role in the development of spider veins. In fact, studies show that up to 90 percent of people who have spider veins have a family history of them.

Other factors can include:

• Sitting or standing for long periods of time
• Obesity
• Trauma
• Sunlight exposure
• Pregnancy

A person showing the spider veins on their ankle and foot

 

What Do Spider Veins on Ankles Look Like?

Spider veins have a specific look. They seem to gather and branch out from a central location. Each vein is usually less than 1mm in diameter.

This common grouping of veins often resembles a branch, a spider, or a spiderweb. Now you know where the name “spider veins” comes from!

When blue and/or red spider veins are on the inside of the ankle or foot and form a crown-like pattern, it is called corona phlebectasia. This is associated with advanced vein problems. People with corona phlebectasia should visit a vein doctor for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

Symptoms of Spider Veins

Spider veins on the ankles, although unsightly, usually don’t indicate a serious health problem.

Sometimes they are itchy or painful. But most often, spider veins are mainly annoying from a cosmetic standpoint. Understandably, people want unattractive spider veins treated.

In rare cases, spider veins contribute to the formation of large skin sores, or ulcers. This problem is most likely to occur near spider veins on the ankles and requires immediate treatment.

 

Treatment for Spider Veins on Ankles

Excellent treatment exists for unattractive spider veins on feet and ankles.

You can try some simple things at home to ease minor discomfort and prevent additional spider veins from forming.

Unfortunately, untreated spider veins will worsen over time.

To eliminate existing spider veins, visit our office for safe and effective treatment.

A special pillow elevates a woman’s legs as she rests in bed

 

Ways to Prevent Spider Veins on Your Ankles

When sitting, keep your feet elevated above your heart. This will improve your circulation and can even reduce the size of spider veins in your ankles and feet. Use a recliner or put pillows under your feet in bed.

Wear compression socks. Compression socks will improve your blood circulation and reduce pressure on leg and foot veins. Your feet will not swell, reducing the development of more spider veins.

Try not to stand for a long period of time. And try to stand on your tiptoes at workable intervals. This will improve leg muscles and blood circulation in spider veins.

Exercise more. Increase your physical activity to reduce vein discomfort. Regular-paced walking will improve your spider vein health.

Learn useful massages for your ankles and feet. Our doctor can discuss what type of massage will work best in your situation.

 

Visit Our Office for a Spider Vein Evaluation

Patients come to our office for accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of spider veins and other vein issues.

At NJVVC, we know the importance of thoroughly understanding your vein health. We perform comprehensive vein evaluations so we can successfully treat your spider vein problems.

 

Sclerotherapy Treatment for Spider Veins

Before our doctor treats your spider veins, he will make sure they aren’t associated with varicose veins. If our doctor finds this connection, he will first treat your varicose veins; this will keep the spider veins from reappearing after treatment.

Spider veins in themselves may not be a serious problem, but varicose veins often need treatment.

Visual Sclerotherapy is extremely effective in the treatment of spider veins. It involves injection of a solution into the spider vein. The solution causes the vein to collapse.

This treatment requires no anesthesia.

The sclerosing agent that we use at NJVVC is safe and comfortable for the patient. Your treated spider veins will collapse and disappear three to six weeks after your procedure.

If you have spider veins or other vein issues, contact us for an appointment. We offer expert diagnosis and treatment.

The Venous Ultrasound: How It Works

The Venous Ultrasound: How It Works

Medical technology has revolutionized the world of healthcare. Every day, new discoveries and practices are being implemented that result in better diagnoses, treatments, and overall patient experience. The use of ultrasound is a very common and risk-free tool that is often used throughout the stages of venous diagnoses and treatment.

What Is a Venous Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is nothing more than sound vibrations that are used to create a visual image. One of the most common uses for ultrasound is during pregnancy examinations, although it can also be used to look at a vast array of structures within the body.

During a venous ultrasound, a probe is placed externally on the skin and emits sound waves. When the sound waves encounter objects, they send a signal back to the probe, which is connected to a computer. The computer then composes an image which can provide substantial information about function, structure, and movement of soft tissues and organs.

Some ultrasound scans are brief and only last 10-15 minutes, while others can be about 30-45 minutes long, depending on the nature of the exam.

Ultrasound is completely non-invasive and provides real-time imagery and information. In addition, there is no radiation exposure, unlike x-rays or CT scans. They are widely accessible at many clinics and offices and are often lower-cost than other diagnostics.  They’re usually covered by most insurance plans.

How Is Ultrasound Used to Treat Vein Conditions?

Because most vein conditions involve insufficient blood flow, ultrasound is used first to determine which veins are compromised and if there are any identifiable blood clots. Once your doctor has identified the damaged valves and route of the abnormal circulation, there are several procedures that can be used to improve the appearance and relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of afflicted veins.

All the treatments provided at the New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center involve ultrasound guidance. This means that while conducting laser therapy or placing catheters, your doctor will always have a clear visual representation of your venous structures. And highly invasive surgery is unnecessary.

The aid of an ultrasound ensures that your procedure requires minimal recovery time and can be performed quickly and safely. There are no known harmful side effects or complications that occur from utilizing an ultrasound. It is one of the safest medical practices used at medical facilities around the world.

Contact Us

At The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center, we are proud to offer the most advanced and safest procedures and diagnostics for all our patients. Our high standard of patient care, industry expertise, and cutting-edge treatments ensure that you have the best chance for positive and lasting results. If you have any questions or would like more information on the services we provide, please contact us.

The Benefits of Compression Stockings

The Benefits of Compression Stockings

The thought of wearing compression stockings may conjure up the image of a grandma with rolled down, knee-high flesh-colored socks. However, compression stockings provide many benefits not only for the “young-at-heart” but for all ages. To truly appreciate the benefits of compression stockings, you must first understand what they do.

How Do Compression Stockings Work?

Your heart’s function is to pump blood through the arteries providing your entire body with constant blood flow. This delivers oxygen and other nutrients to your organs. Veins, on the other hand, bring blood back towards the heart. But, working against gravity can prove difficult for veins which is why compression stockings are helpful. If the small valves inside leg veins become less effective, blood may begin pooling in the lower legs, which can cause pain, swelling, and varicose veins.

Compression socks or stockings use pressure to help push the blood out of your legs by squeezing leg tissue and widening the walls of your veins, therefore assisting with circulation. To circumvent the painful and unsightly side effects, consider using compression stockings in the following situations.

1. Sitting All Day at Work

Your calf acts as a pump during movement and allows for blood flow back to your heart. If you’re sitting all day, your calf muscles are moving very little which can cause the pooling of blood in your legs. If you sit at a desk, sit on your couch, or even sit on your riding mower all day long as a landscaper, consider wearing compression stockings while at work.

2. Standing for Long Periods of Time

While movement encourages more blood flow by using the calf muscle, standing for long periods of time reduces the effectiveness of utilizing said muscle. When people stand for hours at a time veins constrict making it difficult for blood, to leave the lower half of the body. Circulation may diminish and cause excessive discomfort.  Trade workers, retail employees, and hospitality staff who wear compression stockings have more energy and less leg fatigue at the end of their shift. 

3. Exercising and Playing Sports

According to several studies, wearing compression socks while exercising and playing sports can reduce leg muscle soreness, as well as lessen the post-recovery period. So, don’t skip out on that next 5k or even leg day at the gym. Utilize compression stockings to train harder, feel stronger, and fight muscle fatigue.

4. Traveling

Spending long hours on an airplane or in a car can have the same effect as sitting at a desk all day. Prolonged sitting on a plane increases your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, also known as blood clots. Wearing compression stockings while traveling can prevent this risk. Your legs will feel ready to go upon landing at your travel destination.

How To Choose Compression Stockings

Compression stockings come in different strengths: low pressure, medium-low pressure, and medium pressure. The medium-low and medium pressure stockings are usually reserved for medical reasons, but low-pressure stockings have become quite fashionable and can be found at various retail locations.

When choosing the correct stocking for you, keep in mind that it should fit snugly around your ankle with the pressure tapering off towards the top of the stocking. If you have been experiencing soreness, fatigue or tingling in your legs it is best to consult with a doctor to find compression stockings that will work best for you. These symptoms may need to be addressed with medication or an outpatient procedure in addition to compression socks.

With such a large variety of styles and materials, there’s no longer a reason NOT to wear compression stockings. Whether you are sitting, standing or running around all day, compression stockings will help keep your circulation flowing.

For more information about compression stockings and to find out if your insurance will pay for them, contact NJVVC today!

7 Myths about Varicose Veins

7 Myths about Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins are unsightly enlarged and gnarled veins that you often see on the legs and feet. The reality is that any vein in the body can be affected. They’re most common in the lower body because those veins deal with the most stress in our day to day lives. Despite varicose veins being relatively common, affecting as many as 30 million people in the United States alone, there are still many untruths about them. The following are 7 myths about varicose veins to be aware of:

Myth 1 – Varicose Veins are Just a Cosmetic Issue

While varicose veins may not be pretty to look at they aren’t just a cosmetic problem and come with health risks. Varicose Veins, when left untreated, can lead to simple symptoms like itching and cramping as well as more dangerous conditions like bleeding, ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.

Myth 2 – Insurance Won’t Cover Varicose Vein Treatment

Varicose veins are a serious condition that impact your circulatory system.  Most diagnostic procedures for this condition will include ultrasound imaging to determine how and where a patient’s venous insufficiency is occurring and how severe the condition is.  Depending on your individual symptoms, many health insurance plans do provide coverage for treatment.  Some health insurance providers will cover treatment of varicose veins with symptoms that include; swollen and painful veins, discoloration, ulceration, leg heaviness and weakness. Health insurance coverage for varicose vein treatment is always determined on a case-by-case basis.  A vein specialist can diagnose your condition using a venous ultrasound procedure that is covered by most insurance plans.  If you can prove that your varicose veins are negatively impacting your health your insurance may cover treatment

Myth 3 – Varicose Vein Treatment is Painful

The original method of treatment was “vein stripping,” removal of the damaged vein through an incision. This treatment requires anesthetic and a long and typically painful recovery time due to its invasive nature. Modern treatments are minimally invasive and are quick enough to be done during a lunch break with little to no downtime.

Myth 4 – Recovering from Varicose Vein Treatment is Difficult

Thanks to advancements in medicine, many outpatient treatment options are available. These options can take as little as 20 minutes, don’t require anesthesia, and will have you back to your regularly scheduled lifestyle reasonably quickly. The only recommendation is that patients avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a day or so. 

Myth 5 – Only Women are at Risk for Varicose Veins

Although varicose veins are more common in women, men are also at risk. According to the American Society for Vascular Surgery, at least 20 to 25 million American have varicose veins. With 33% of women and 17% of men having been diagnosed.

Myth 6 – You Can Always See Varicose Veins

While the unattractive veins on the surface are the ones that cause distress for most people due to their appearance, varicose veins aren’t always visible. For people who have a lot of fatty tissue between their skin and muscle, the veins may be completely invisible. Even if you have visible varicose veins, the ones you see on the surface might only be a small window into a bigger problem.

Myth 7 – Varicose Veins Always Come Back After Treatment

When you successfully treat varicose veins, they are gone for good, but that doesn’t mean that other veins won’t pop up. You should work towards implementing changes that help keep them at bay. These include maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, adding compression socks to your wardrobe, and getting enough rest to give your vascular system a boost. 

Venous insufficiency is a health issue that shouldn’t be ignored. If you notice you are suffering from varicose veins be sure to contact a specialist to discuss the treatment options that would best work for you.

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