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Varithena

Varithena

injection sclerotherapy patient

Located in Lima and Celina and serving the surrounding communities of Auglaize County, Ohio, the Vein Care Center offers effective sclerotherapy treatment for varicose and spider veins. Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal, MHSA, MD, a vein disease specialist certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and also a board-certified and aesthetic-laser-certified family physician, is known for providing caring, courteous and expert service.

What is injection sclerotherapy?

Injection sclerotherapy is a quick, highly effective and minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. Injection sclerotherapy uses a small needle to place a solution—either liquid or foam—directly into the diseased vein. The sclerosant solution disrupts the lining of the vein, which causes the vein to spasm, collapse and disappear.

Types of Injection Sclerotherapy Treatments

Dr. Aggarwal offers three types of injection sclerotherapy treatments:

Liquid Injection Sclerotherapy:

Sotradecol is a liquid sclerosant that has been approved by the FDA and used for years to treat varicose veins. Sotradecol is used to treat medium or small varicose veins and spider veins. When injected into the diseased vein, the liquid Sotradecol mixes with the fluid in the vein and is diluted. Because of this, patients may need three to five treatments to eradicate the diseased vein. Sotradecol is safe, minimally invasive and well tolerated by patients.

FDA-Approved Foam Injection Sclerotherapy:

New to the market, Varithena, with the active ingredient Polidocanol, is the only foam sclerosant approved by the FDA to treat varicose veins and other types of problem veins, including refluxing great saphenous veins (GSV). Varithena foam is the preferred sclerosant for conditions affecting the GSV, accessory GSV veins and visible varicose veins in the GSV system. Varithena is particularly effective on larger veins because the foam displaces the blood in the vein, thus allowing the full strength of the foam to coat the inside of the vein. Foam sclerotherapy is considered one of the least invasive varicose vein treatments. In just one treatment, most patients see unsightly veins disappear and experience decreased throbbing, aches, heaviness, swelling and itching in the legs.

Non FDA-Approved Foam Injection Sclerotherapy:

Using FDA-approved Polidocanol and/or Sotradecol in a foam form (other than Varithena) is not, at this time, an FDA approved method of treatment. However, the efficacy of foam sclerotherapy has been proven for decades all over the world in treating spider veins and other cosmetic vein issues, and Dr. Aggarwal is well-versed in treating patients using this procedure.

At the Vein Care Center, for your safety you will never be treated with compounded sclerosants, which may be improperly labelled. The sclerosant used for your treatment will be FDA approved for safety and effectiveness.

Liquid vs. foam sclerotherapy: which one is better?

Doctors and sclerotherapists have used liquid sclerosants for years to treat varicose and spider veins. This historical experience brings a level of comfort in the administration of the liquid solution, as well as predictable and reliable outcomes. The downside to a liquid sclerosant is that it mixes with the blood when it is injected into the vein and becomes diluted. For this reason, additional treatments are necessary to eliminate the diseased vein.

Foam sclerotherapy is a relatively newer method for vein treatment and considered by some to be a superior form of treatment. The foam flows through the vein like water flows through a hose when it is turned on. This movement displaces the blood in the vein and does not dilute the foam. Therefore, the full strength of the foam can thoroughly coat the entire lining of the vein. For this reason, foam sclerotherapy can provide better and faster results than traditional liquid sclerosants. Most patients will need a few foam treatments to resolve a diseased vein. In addition, the action of the foam filling the vein makes it an effective treatment for larger or deeper veins that may otherwise be difficult to treat.

Liquid and foam injection sclerotherapies are both safe and effective treatments for varicose veins. Choosing the best injection sclerotherapy for you depends on your overall health and the condition and size of the diseased vein. Dr. Aggarwal and her experienced staff will guide you through the different treatment options and suggest the best plan to address your specific condition. How is injection sclerotherapy performed? Liquid and foam injection sclerotherapies are both minimally invasive, require no incisions or anesthesia and cause minimal discomfort. The two procedures are similar, except that ultrasound may be used during foam injection sclerotherapy to guide the injection of the foam and monitor its progress as it fills the diseased vein. For both procedures, after your skin is cleansed using an antiseptic solution, Dr. Aggarwal or her experienced nursing staff will use a tiny needle to inject liquid Sotradecol or foam sclerosant directly into the vein being treated. You may feel a slight prick — which many patients liken to the feel of an “ant bite” — as well as a mild burning sensation. The sclerosant irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to spasm, collapse and close. Blood flow will re-route to nearby veins. The body safely and rapidly absorbs any remaining liquid or foam sclerosant. Injection sclerotherapy is typically performed on an outpatient basis and takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Downtime and Recovery Time

injection sclerotherapy patient

The benefit of liquid and foam injection sclerotherapies is that most patients feel better and resume normal activities immediately after their first treatment. We advise patients to avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for one week. Further, wearing a compression garment for two weeks will provide support and comfort to the treatment area, while promoting healing and circulation. Patients should try to walk at least ten minutes per day and avoid inactivity.

Some patients may experience leg pain, injection site discomfort, bruising and swelling in the first few days following their injection sclerotherapy. In rare cases, blood clots can occur in the leg veins. Maintaining a basic level of movement and following the post-care instructions will minimize side effects. If you have questions or concerns at any time during your recovery, please call the Vein Care Center to discuss your symptoms with our experienced staff.

How many treatments are required?

The number of sclerotherapy treatments you will need depends on the sclerosant used and the size and extent of the diseased vein. If a liquid sclerosant is used, most patients require three to five treatments to resolve the diseased vein. Comparatively, most patients who have foam sclerotherapy only need one to three treatments to eliminate the diseased vein. Our team will discuss your options and expectations at your initial appointment.

Am I a candidate for injection sclerotherapy?

If you have varicose or spider veins but are otherwise healthy, you may be a good candidate for injection sclerotherapy. Some patients should avoid injection sclerotherapy. The procedure may not be right for you if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Over 75
  • Extremely sedentary
  • On Tamoxifen (Tamoxifen causes spider veins)
  • On iron supplements (iron can cause more discoloration of the skin after injections)
  • Have underlying lung disease

Other medical conditions, such as a clotting disorder or a recent vein infection, may also make you a poor candidate for injection sclerotherapy. Dr. Aggarwal and the Vein Care Center staff will review your medical history and determine the appropriate treatment options for you.

While cosmetic improvement is often a factor in using sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins, the Vein Care Center understands that relief from pain is usually the primary concern for patients. Dr. Aggarwal uses cutting-edge diagnostic techniques to choose the best nonsurgical or minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of varicose veins and other venous disorders. Her goal is to ensure that both aesthetic concerns and painful symptoms are addressed simultaneously, effectively and safely. To find out which vein treatment is best for you, contact us today at 419-227-4472 to schedule a consultation.

The information about varithena was reviewed by Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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