Vein Illumination in Sclerotherapy
Varicose and spider veins are not at all uncommon; in fact, 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men suffer from some type of vein problem, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Having sclerotherapy for cosmetic purposes is a very common treatment option.
There are other reasons for choosing to have sclerotherapy for unsightly veins. Large and small varicose veins and spider veins cause physical problems for many people. These include pain, burning, swelling and night cramps. Treatment provides relief and using vein illumination in sclerotherapy procedures helps physicians identify and treat varicose and spider veins more effectively.
Sclerotherapy is Effective in Treating Varicose Veins
If you’re not familiar with sclerotherapy, it is the removal of varicose veins and spider veins through the injection of a safe sclerosing solution directly into each vein. The purpose of the solution is to destroy the vein. It does this by irritating the vein line and causing it to swell. This cuts off the flow of blood to the vein. The result is that the vein shrinks and is naturally absorbed into the surrounding tissue. In most cases, the veins completely disappear. The absorption time varies from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the varicose or spider vein.
Sclerotherapy offers outstanding results. It is preferred to other treatments because it is noninvasive and effective. It takes very little time to perform sclerotherapy and the recovery period is also very brief. This type of therapy for unwanted veins has largely replaced varicose vein surgery and the use of lasers in vein treatment. Sclerosing the veins is considered more effective than laser treatment because it also collapses and destroys the feeder veins that lead to spider veins.
There are several common side effects from sclerotherapy, but most are not serious. Potential side effects include bruising, small sores at the injection points, darkened spots or streaks in the skin and the formation of very small red blood vessels. Most often, these side effects are temporary. Occasionally, more severe side effects such as inflammation or blood clotting will need to be treated.
Vein Illumination Offers Greater Success During Sclerotherapy Procedures
Vein illumination is the process of using a very intense light to find veins beneath the surface of the skin. The lights used are bright enough to penetrate deep into the skin, but they are not hot and won’t cause burning. The hemoglobin in the blood absorbs light, so vein illumination causes the varicose and spider veins to show up very clearly. Illumination allows for injection of the sclerosing solution at a deeper level. The result is that the treated veins are destroyed more deeply and this reduces the chance they will be visible following therapy.
In the past, physicians have used flashlights or transilluminators for vein illumination. However, these lights aren’t bright enough to allow sclerotherapy practitioners to see deep into the skin. Modern illumination devices use high intensity light or lasers to penetrate deeper and allow for more thorough treatment of each varicose vein or spider vein. Because they help in locating and tracing veins, the illumination devices are often called vein finders.
The results of sclerotherapy using vein illumination are consistently superior to those achieved when a bright light source is not employed. For this reason, using vein illumination in sclerotherapy procedures is quickly becoming a standard part of treatment.