What is sclerotherapy?

What is sclerotherapy?

Injection Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure where veins are injected with a solution, using small needles, which causes them to collapse and fade from view. The procedure typically improves not only the cosmetic appearance but associated symptoms as well. The procedure normally takes about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how many spider veins are treated. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not require any anesthesia. Because there are many veins in the leg, the blood that would have flowed through these vanquished spider veins simply flows through other healthy veins after the procedure. The loss of the diseased vein is not a problem for the circulatory system.

Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is the most popular choice of doctors and patients for spider vein treatment because it is more effective, less expensive, and less painful than any other treatment available. You can enjoy healthier, more attractive legs. Once the veins are treated they will not come back, but because spider veins can be a chronic condition, new ones can form in the future. However, because the initial treatment is so thorough, and all associated “feeder veins” are treated, any new veins tend to be minor. Simple yearly touch-up treatment can help you enjoy your life free from unsightly veins.

The solution can be in a liquid or a foam form. Foam Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective method for treating troublesome varicose veins Foam sclerotherapy has two distinct advantages over traditional sclerotherapy procedures. Because the sclerosant agent is in a foam form, it is able to displace the blood in the vessel being treated, which means the sclerosant formula is able to be in direct contact with the vessel wall for a longer period of time, allowing it to work more effectively than liquid agents which may be diluted by blood flow. Also, the foam is visible on ultrasound, and its placement, spread, and effects can be guided and tracked more effectively as a result. Foam sclerotherapy has few side effects, but compression hose should be worn for at least 2 weeks after treatment. It typically takes about six weeks for the veins to disappear completely.

The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. Normal activities may be resumed immediately. Secondary treatments, if needed, should be scheduled six to eight weeks following the primary treatment. You will be asked to wear a compression stocking to help keep pressure on the veins. This will reduce bruising and keep the treated veins closed. Bruises around the treated areas usually disappear after the first week. Any discomfort can be easily managed with over the counter pain medications. Walking is important, as it increases blood flow through the other veins. Most patients will experience a 60% to 80% percent improvement. Final results may not be apparent for several months.

Is sitting all day making your leg veins worse?

Is sitting all day making your leg veins worse?

Many people spend a lot of time sitting during the day. Some do it at their desks, on their daily commute or while relaxing at home. Taking a load off your feet can be relaxing, but sitting too much can increase your risk of getting varicose veins— not to mention being bad for your heart health. Reducing your risk of developing varicose veins or keeping them from becoming worse doesn’t mean giving up sitting. But it does mean becoming more active throughout the day.

If you already have varicose veins, you may notice that your symptoms worsen after sitting or standing for long periods. This includes:

  • discomfort, heaviness, burning or pain in your legs
  • swelling in your ankles and feet
  • itching in the area of the varicose vein

The muscles of the lower legs also help return blood to the heart by acting like pumps. Every time you move your legs, the muscles squeeze the veins. But if you sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time — especially with your legs crossed or bent — your blood doesn’t flow as well from the legs to the heart. Over time, this can lead to varicose veins.

The best way to reduce your risk of getting varicose veins from sitting all day is to move around more. This will increase the flow of blood from your legs. One of the best ways to improve your blood flow is to exercise regularly.

In addition to exercising regularly, try to stand up and move around every 30 minutes during the day. This can include:

  • Going for a short walk
  • Doing some simple yoga poses
  • Climbing stairs in between meetings
  • Walking to the printer or to your coworker’s office
  • Getting off the bus or subway one stop early

If you can’t move around that often —or are flying on an airplane—try flexing the muscles of your legs and wiggling your toes to increase the flow of blood from your legs.

If you alternate between sitting and standing, remember that standing still for long periods of time can also increase your risk of varicose veins. Remember to move around every half hour, whether you are sitting or standing. Also, try to keep your feet elevated while seated, such as by resting them on a stool or block. You can do this at work or while watching television or reading on the couch at home.

And whenever possible, elevate your legs above the level of your heart for a few minutes several times during the day. For example, lie down with your legs resting on pillows or with your feet on the wall. Not only will moving around more during the day reduce your risk of varicose veins, it is also good for your heart and will increase the number of calories that you burn. So if in doubt, move about.

The North Shore Vein Center Earns Distinguished Vein Practice Accreditation

The North Shore vein Center in lake Success, NY, has been awarded the distinction of accreditation in Superficial Venous Treatment and Management by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). This prestigious honor is highly respected in the medical community and is granted only after a strict, peer review process analyzing all daily operations of the medical practice, including personnel, quality of care, safety, equipment, and patient outcomes. All accredited facilities must demonstrate the highest level of patient care.

The North Shore Vein Center is one of only six practices to be recognized in the entire state of New York, and the only one in Nassau County, Queens and Brooklyn. The accreditation symbolizes that The North Shore vein Center has voluntarily undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts, and that our procedures have been carefully evaluated by medical experts in the field of treatment and management of superficial venous disorders.

Patients can rely on the IAC accreditation seal of approval as an indication that The North Shore Vein Center is dedicated to delivering the highest level of patient care. The distinction is granted by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), which has a 25 year history of developing standards and quality care measures for various medical specialties. The IAC Vein Center designation is given when a facility has met exacting requirements specifically intended for vein care and superficial venous insufficiency. Areas of scrutiny include physician training and experience, continuing education, procedure volumes, chart reviews, equipment and facility inspection, procedure complication rates, ultrasound imaging, disease management, patient outcomes, and quality improvement programs.

Pregnancy and varicose veins

Pregnant women often develop varicose veins during their pregnancies. There are two main reasons for this. Pregnancy increases the volume of blood in a woman’s body, which, if the valves aren’t functioning properly, can increase the likelihood of veins becoming overfilled. As the woman’s abdomen and pelvic area accommodates the growing fetus, the flow of blood from the legs to the pelvis can be compromised. These changes are natural, but they can produce unfortunate side effects such as enlarged veins in the legs. Varicose veins may appear for the first time during pregnancy. It has been observed that the varicose veins may worsen during late pregnancy because the expanding uterus exerts greater pressure on the veins in the legs.

Since most treatments for varicose veins during pregnancy are conservative, there are a number of lifestyle choices that can positively affect varicose veins during pregnancy which include:

  • Exercise: Walking is a great way to encourage healthy levels of blood circulation in the legs. A doctor can recommend an appropriate activity level for any patient’s body type and age.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet:Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off of veins, especially those in the legs. Following a low-salt, high-fiber diet to prevent the swelling that may result from water retention and constipation is also recommended.
  • Make healthy fashion choices: Wearing low-heeled shoes allows calf muscles to work more, which is better for vein health. Wearing tight clothing around the waist and legs can restrict circulation.
  • Elevate the legs:To improve venous circulation, experts recommend taking several short breaks daily to elevate legs above the level of the heart.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing:Changing the body’s position frequently to encourage blood flow can be beneficial.



What is venous reflux disease?

Venous reflux is the abnormal backing up of blood into the vein. Veins are blood vessels which bring blood back to the heart. In normal venous circulation, oxygen-depleted blood travels up the legs, back to lungs to become re-oxygenated, and then back to the heart. Venous blood is “pumped” primarily by the action of the calf muscles, pushed through the veins back up to the heart, against gravity.

To support the upward travel of blood back to the heart, veins have one-way valves with two flaps (cusps) which act as one-way doors. Valves open when venous blood is pushed towards the heart. If venous blood starts backing up, the valve cusps slam shut, preventing blood from backing up (reflux).

Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist in the return of blood back to the heart. In venous reflux disease, the valves that keep the blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart do not close properly, allowing blood to flow in reverse and pool in the leg veins. This causes the superficial veins to swell and bulge resulting in unsightly varicose veins, leg swelling, pain and fatigue. Without treatment, venous reflux disease can also lead to skin pigment changes in the legs as well as ulcerations that are slow to heal. Elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings, rest and pain medications can offer temporary relief of some symptoms of venous reflux disease, but do not fix the underlying problem. Although more common in older adults, varicose veins can also be seen in young people, and early treatment may prevent later complications.\

The backing up of blood can cause a number of symptoms.

  • Edemain the legs and ankles occur when veins become overly full with blood, causing fluid to leak, and legs and ankles to swell.
  • Venous stasis ulcersare slow or non-healing wounds around the legs and ankles which form when blood pools in the veins. Overly full veins can create high pressure and cause breaks in the skin which are slow to heal due to compromised circulation.
  • Varicose veinsare created when veins become engorged with blood, producing thickened, twisted rope-like veins visible close to the surface of the skin. Varicose veins can be painful.
  • Reticular veinsare thin, red colored veins noticeable at the surface of the skin. Telangectasias, also known as spider veins, are thin, reddish, web-like veins noticeable on the surface of the skin. Both reticular veins and spider veins are rarely painful or problematic to the health. Patients are more often concerned with their cosmetic aspect.
  • Painis often accompanies the symptoms of venous reflux. Sometime legs can feel itchy or sore.

The cycle of venous reflux can be self-propagating, and proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to stopping the cycle.


What are Varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a very common condition in the United States, affecting one out of two people age 50 and older, and 15 to 25 percent of all adults. These dilated blood vessels in the lower extremities are the result of damaged valves which allow blood to pool in veins. This pooling causes the veins to appear dark purple or blue and visibly bulge from the leg’s surface.

The word “varicose” is derived from the Latin root word “varix,” which is translated in English as “twisted.” Any vein in the body may become varicose, though certain contributing causes of varicose veins make the legs the most susceptible to this condition. Varicose veins occur in the legs and lower extremities because standing and walking increases the pressure in the veins in the lower half of the body, and the higher pressure can compromise the functioning of the valves.

In healthy, normally functioning veins, tiny valves placed throughout the vessel allow appropriate amounts of blood to flow through the vein, in one particular direction. When these valves malfunction, circulation isn’t regulated properly, overfilling the vein and/or allowing blood to flow in the wrong direction. This causes the unsightly, dark coloration and texture that are the visible indicators of varicose veins.

While varicose veins can appear unsightly and be a source of embarrassment for some individuals, the affected veins can also cause uncomfortable medical symptoms. Sensations of heaviness, aching, and tingling can be attributed to the presence of varicose veins. While not life-threatening in themselves, varicose veins may lead to serious problems if left untreated. At a minimum, people with varicose veins should have them evaluated by a specialist because these veins can serve as an indication that the individual is at a higher risk of other, more serious disorders of the circulatory system.



Have you tried Dermaka? It’s made of natural plant extracts with added vitamins for skin health. This cream minimizes bruising, inflammation, redness, and/or swelling – great for after a vein procedure! Available at North Shore Vein Center. Call 516-869-8346 for more details!


Difference Between Varicose And Spider Veins

Varicose veins are described as large, raised, swollen blood vessels that develop in the legs and can be seen through the skin. They can twist and turn up and down the legs, and are unsightly and embarrassing. According to www.webmd.com, spider veins are smaller red, purple, and blue vessels that also twist and turn. Spider veins are also visible through the skin, and are typically found on the face, as well as on the legs. The main differences between the two are the size and visibility of the veins, and the fact that spider veins can also be found on the face.

Both women and men can develop varicose and spider veins, but they’re prevalent in women. Heredity, obesity, hormonal influences, and a history of blood clots can play a part in the appearance and severity of these veins. Occupations that involve long periods of standing, such as nursing, hairstyling, and teaching, can have an impact, according to the website. Other reported causes can include the use of birth control pills, postmenopausal hormone replacement, and trauma or injury to the skin. Facial spider veins can be caused by environmental damage, such as excessive exposure to sun or extreme cold.

Treatments are available for varicose and spider veins. The conservative approaches involve the use of compression stockings, or even support hose for minor cases, and basic lifestyle changes. Taking care of your skin (sunblock, moisturizer, and avoiding extreme weather conditions), losing weight if needed, and regular exercise can help treat or avoid varicose and spider veins.

If these changes aren’t enough, sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves an injection of a liquid chemical into the vein to cause it to disappear gradually. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive option and can be done on an outpatient basis. Laser and pulsed light therapy, radiofrequency treatments, and surgery are other options.

By Denise Freese

Seniors & Veins

Older adults should consider the health of their veins. Paying attention to venous health is an important aspect of successful aging – and one that has historically gone untreated.

“Many seniors have been told that heavy, aching legs are a normal part of aging, but that’s often not the case,” said Dr. Asbjornsen of the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine. “There are solutions for venous insufficiency that make people feel better, no matter what their age.”

Venous insufficiency occurs when healthy veins become damaged and allow the backward flow of blood into the lower extremities. This pooling of blood can lead to a feeling of heaviness and/or aching and can cause skin changes, such as spider veins or a brown, woody appearance of the lower legs.

Seniors’ veins respond differently to everyday stress compared to that of a younger person’s because vein walls are primarily made of collagen. As the body ages, a decrease in the production of collagen causes the veins to become more brittle and the values more likely to fail, especially in the superficial veins. Thus, there is a higher incidence of varicose veins in the elderly population.

Additionally, the skin begins to lose its elasticity and doesn’t respond to stress the way it once did And because skin is the “end organ” of venous disease, ulcers can occur as a result of damaged veins.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is more common than once thought. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the large veins, usually one of the lower limbs, such as the thigh or calf. The incidence of DVTs is higher in older people because of three main risk factors:

  • Trauma to any blood vessel due to surgery or even bumping into something
  • Decreased blood flow due to immobility
  • An abnormal tendency toward blood clotting

Because seniors tend to be less active as a result of other medical conditions, such as arthritis or a respiratory issue that makes them less likely to walk or exercise, they’re more likely to become immobile as a result of a surgery or injury (such as a knee or hip replacement).

Some seniors think that “vein stripping” is the only option. While it was the go-to procedure for many years, treatment for venous disease today is vastly different. Breakthroughs in phlebology and new approaches to treatment involve less time, less pain and they are overwhelmingly successful over the long term when performed by an experienced specialist. The risk-benefit ratio makes treatment an ideal option for seniors.

Although seniors have a 50% greater chance of suffering from vein disease, they have the same success with modern treatment options as anyone else. Modern techniques, such as endovenous ablation or ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, are the most effective solutions for the majority of vein problems. They are minimally invasive, highly successful and are not reserved for the young.

Sclerotherapy in Review

Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins and varicose veins by injecting a sclerosing agent into the interior of the troublesome vein. This substance causes the vein walls to become sticky and seal shut. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually disappears. There is little risk of complication, and patients often experience an immediate relief of symptoms.

Light-assisted sclerotherapy is used to treat smaller veins below the skin’s surface. These reticular veins are responsible for feeding the veins that are visible on the surface of the skin. A small, powerful light illuminates the veins and tissue directly below the patient’s skin, allowing the physician to clearly identify the source of the venous dysfunction and to perform the procedure.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is used for larger, less superficial veins that cannot be seen with transcutaneous illumination (light used to view veins near the surface). Due to proximity of some of these veins to nerves, arteries and other structures, a skilled ultrasound sonographer is critical to the success of this procedure.

After sclerotherapy, treated veins often fade within a few weeks, although it may take longer to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be necessary.

Liquid vs. Foam

There are several kinds of liquid sclerosing agents. The most popular modern sclerosant is call polidocanol. This is a detergent by nature, and therefore, can form bubbles easily. Foam sclerotherapy is, simply put, the mixture of the liquid sclerosant with a gas to create those bubbles.

In the treatment of varicose veins, foaming the sclerosant enables it to displace the blood in larger veins, rather than just mixing with it, as a liquid sclerosant would. That means foam provider a longer contact time between the chemical longer contact time between chemical and the vein wall and is more effective on larger veins, such as the great saphenous vein (GSV) and other truncal veins. Liquid sclerosants work best on the smaller, reticular veins.

Another significant advantage of foam is that it is echogenic, which means that it is easily visible on an ultrasound, increasing the accuracy with which individual veins can be treated.

In addition, because of the efficacy of the sclerosing agent is increased with foam, a lower concentration can be given to treat varicose veins, which means having a smaller total dose of sclerosant to achieve the desired effect.

The most common method for producing foam for sclerotherapy is the “Tessari technique”, which involves manually mixing a small volume of liquid sclerosant with a volume of room air or other gas using two syringes and a three-way tap, or stopcock.

If you or someone you know is suffering from varicose or spider veins, we encourage you to visit our office for a complimentary vein screening. During this screening, we will go over your medical history, complete a visual exam, review your diagnosis and if needed, recommend a venous ultrasound, which will provide the needed results for your treatment options. Please give us a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule your free screenings.

This article was originally published in it’s entirety by Vein Healthcare News and was written by Jennifer Boggs.

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