A treatment option commonly elected by patients at Johns Creek Dermatology to treat spider and small varicose veins is sclerotherapy. The procedure involves directly injecting a solution into the vein. As a result, the vein collapses and scars, which forces the blood to reroute through healthy veins. The collapsed vein is eventually reabsorbed into local tissue and fades. Fading generally occurs within three weeks of the procedure and may sometimes take up to a month for full results to be seen. Additional treatments are often necessary. In cases that require multiple treatments, appointments are scheduled four to six weeks apart.
The process begins with vein mapping, a method by which a Doppler ultrasound is used to provide details on unusual activity in the veins to increase the safety and effectiveness of the sclerotherapy treatment. Anesthesia is generally not administered prior to the procedure, and the entire process can be performed at our office. Dr. Timani may use either a liquid or foam version of the solution. Prior to receiving the injection, the patient will recline on his or her back with legs slightly elevated. The solution is injected through a fine needle that is slowly inserted into the affected vein. Next, Dr. Timani massages the area to disperse the solution and to encourage redirection of blood flow. Discomfort during the procedure may include cramping or stinging when the needle is injected. Excessive discomfort should be reported to the physician.
Following the procedure, the patient will rest in the reclined position for 15 to 20 minutes, after which he or she may begin walking and moving the legs as usual. Walking is important as it discourages the formation of blood clots. Dr. Timani will also check for signs of immediate side effects. The patient is then approved to go home; however, he or she must wear compression stockings or bandages for approximately three weeks. Patients are generally advised to avoid strenuous activity for two weeks, and doctors also recommend that patients avoid sun exposure due to the possibility of developing dark spots on the treated areas. Otherwise, patients are generally free to resume their normal activities immediately after receiving the procedure.
Dr. Timani will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure as well as the number of treatments that will be needed to treat your varicose veins. Consult Johns Creek Dermatology for more information about suitability, risks, and patient outcomes.