Do you struggle with spider veins? Spider veins are tiny blood vessels that are dark in color and easily visible through the skin. Spider veins are generally harmless, but they can present certain concerns. You might prefer to have smooth skin with no visible veins. Or you may experience discomfort, finding it hard to stand for long periods of time without aches or cramps in your legs.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution for spider veins. Scleropathy is an injectable treatment that can get rid of those pesky spider veins for good. Take a look at how sclerotherapy helps these conditions and what pain medications are safe to take during this type of procedure.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to address spider veins. An injectable chemical solution is administered directly into the affected vein during sclerotherapy.
This solution irritates the blood vessel’s lining, causing it to expand and stick together, forming a scar. Once this occurs, the vein is closed off and no longer visible.
Medications to Avoid Before Sclerotherapy Procedures
Before having sclerotherapy performed, there are measures you will need to take to prepare. Avoiding certain medications and topical products can help ensure you enjoy the best results from your procedure.
Prior to your sclerotherapy appointment, you will want to avoid:
If you are on antibiotics, you must stop taking them seven to ten days before your sclerotherapy. Certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline and minocycline, can cause staining when combined with sclerotherapy injections.
You should continue avoiding these antibiotics for at least ten days after your procedure, as these effects can still occur.
Another type of medication to avoid when getting sclerotherapy is anti-inflammatory medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can increase bleeding and lead to complications during your sclerotherapy injections.
Prednisone can make the chemical solution used during sclerotherapy less effective. If you are on prednisone, you must stop taking it at least 48 hours before your sclerotherapy appointment.
Pain Control During and After Sclerotherapy Treatment
Since several different medications can interfere with your sclerotherapy treatment, which ones are safe to take? This is a good question for patients planning a sclerotherapy procedure — especially those who struggle with chronic pain. The following are pain medications that you can take when receiving sclerotherapy:
One of the safest pain medications to take when getting sclerotherapy is acetaminophen or Tylenol. Acetaminophen does not increase your bleeding risk or have any adverse interactions with the solution used during sclerotherapy. In most cases, acetaminophen is safe to take before, during, and after your procedure.
While anti-inflammatories are not recommended before your sclerotherapy procedure, they can be taken after administering your injections. Anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen and aspirin, can increase your bleeding risk, but this is only a concern during the injection process.
After administering the injections, you can take ibuprofen or aspirin to control any pain or soreness surrounding the vein.
For patients with chronic pain, prescription pain medications may be part of their daily routine. Depending on your medication type, you may be able to continue taking your prescription painkillers during and after your sclerotherapy.
Before having treatment, tell your doctor what medications you take and get explicit approval that they are safe to continue taking during and after sclerotherapy.
Where Can You Get Sclerotherapy Performed?
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment option for getting rid of spider veins. If you are interested in sclerotherapy treatment for unsightly veins, look no further than the Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center in New York.
Our skilled vascular specialists can diagnose a wide range of conditions and provide the best treatment to resolve your symptoms. Begin your sclerotherapy journey by scheduling a consultation with us today.
What Is the Difference Between Larger and Smaller Varicose Veins?
Have you noticed dark, prominent veins on your legs or feet? These may be varicose veins, a condition many people develop as they age. Varicose veins can make you feel self-conscious about the way your legs look.
While many experience varicose veins, some develop their smaller counterparts, spider veins. Here is how you can spot the difference between large and small varicose veins and how each can be treated.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen blood vessels that can become twisted beneath the skin. These veins show up dark purple or blue and, in many cases, bulge outwards from the skin’s surface in a very prominent way. Varicose veins can develop anywhere on the body but are most often found in the legs, feet, and ankles.
For most people, varicose veins are an aesthetic concern. For others, these veins can impact their quality of life by causing pain and discomfort. Severe varicose veins can cause cramping and aches in the legs with activity or prolonged periods of standing.
Large vs. Small Varicose Veins
While varicose veins are usually large in size, some people have very small, thin veins that stand out noticeably. Are these varicose veins or a different concern?
Most of the time, small veins that are dark in color and obvious to the eye are spider veins. These are similar to varicose veins but differ slightly in how they develop and what they look like.
What Are Spider Veins?
Also known as thread veins, spider veins are tiny, damaged veins that appear as little branches close to the skin. They are typically dark blue, purple, or red in color and do not protrude from the surface of the skin like varicose veins do.
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins almost never produce any discomfort. They are strictly a cosmetic concern you may prefer to eliminate. These veins are also more likely to appear in various areas around the body, like the arms, chest, and torso. Varicose veins are most often found on the legs and feet.
The Cause of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Some people develop varicose veins and spider veins with no identifiable reason. Most people, however, develop these vascular concerns for one of the following reasons:
- Family history
- Older age
- Long periods spent standing
- Being overweight
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
In many cases, these veins develop because of a malfunction within the vein. When the bileaflet venous valves fail to function properly, it can cause the malformation of the vein due to poor circulation.
How to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins
Microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat varicose veins, particularly those near the skin’s surface. It effectively alleviates the symptoms and aesthetic concerns associated with varicose veins.
During microphlebectomy, local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the affected vein, ensuring minimal discomfort. The vascular surgeon or specialist treats Varicose veins with tiny incisions, typically less than a quarter of an inch in size. These small incisions are strategically placed along the length of the affected vein.
Through the small openings created by the incisions, specialized instruments remove varicose veins gently. The incisions are so small that there is usually no need for sutures or stitches, and scarring is minimal.
As microphlebectomy offers a highly targeted and precise method of removing troublesome veins near the skin’s surface, it is particularly beneficial for patients with large, bulging varicose veins. Removing varicose veins through microphlebectomy reroutes blood flow to healthy veins, reducing symptoms of pain, discomfort, and swelling and improving leg appearance.
Its minimally invasive nature makes it a preferred option for many individuals seeking relief from varicose veins due to the faster recovery time than traditional surgical techniques.
The most recent FDA-approved procedure for the treatment of varicose veins is using the injectable Varithena. In this treatment, the vein is accessed through a small needle under local anesthesia. The medicine, which is foamed polidocanol, is injected under ultrasound guidance. Like sclerotherapy, the medicine will interrupt the lining of the vein; thus, the vein collapses and is no longer open and functioning.
The body then slowly removes these nonfunctioning veins over time, and the vein no longer becomes visible. It also eliminates the symptoms associated with the varicose vein. The benefit of Varithena is that multiple veins can often be treated with a few injections. This makes the procedure faster with less invasive needle sticks than traditional microphlebectomy. There is also the possibility of less scarring as the needle hole to inject the Varithena will be completely invisible.
The other benefit is that with microphlebectomy, you can only treat the veins on the surface. Varithena, on the other hand, will successfully treat all the communicating veins between the varicosities below the surface. In this way, it is a more complete elimination of the varicosities with all of their communications and, therefore, will probably decrease the recurrence rate of varicose veins over time.
The biggest downside in approximately 11% of cases is that one can experience hyperpigmentation of the skin over where the varicosities originally were found. This side effect can be minimized with proper technique and aftercare during the injection procedure. As the leg heals after Varithena, it is normal to experience some mild discomfort. If significant discomfort is experienced, the possibility of trapped blood from some reopening of the vein after the procedure may have occurred. It is the iron in the trapped blood that causes the pain and the hyperpigmentation. Following up with your doctor if this occurs is imperative; a simple drainage procedure under local anesthesia using a slightly larger bore needle will minimize this side effect. If light staining has occurred on the skin, it will usually resolve on its own with time. If deeper staining has occurred, then often, this can be treated with a surface laser to remove the discoloration.
Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, is a quick procedure that uses an injectable solution to remove your spider veins. With sclerotherapy treatment, a non-foamed chemical solution is injected directly into the vein of concern.
This solution damages the walls of the blood vessel and causes the vessel to expand. The vessel ultimately shrinks down, and the walls stick together, causing the vein to collapse. This makes it invisible through the skin, resolving the appearance of varicose or spider veins.
Get Rid of Your Varicose Veins at Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center
Whether you have large varicose or tiny spider veins, you may be looking to reduce their appearance and feel better about how your skin looks. At Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center in New York, we treat a number of different vascular concerns, including varicose veins.
We can eliminate your varicose veins and restore your natural appearance with several treatment options. Give us a call or reach out online to find out more today.