Can sclerotherapy be used to treat large varicose veins?
Sclerotherapy for Large Veins?
Doctor Answers (8)
Sclerotherapy for large Spider Veins--size does matter
Regarding: " Sclerotherapy for Large Veins? Sclerotherapy is usually best for small reticular [blue] veins and threadlike spider [red] veins. Sclerotherapy can be used on veins up to 3mm in diameter. However, review and closure of larger deeper incompetent veins needs to be completed prior to sclerotherapy. I think this is why patients do not get the desired results from sclerotherapy alone.
Reticular varicose veins at the surface maybe the result of reverse vein flow from larger deeper veins in the legs. only ultrasound review can determine if a more invasive approach is needed. In my office, new patients with extensive spider or reticular veins undergo screening ultrasound review [complimentary]. A plan is formed. If the deeper veins are normal and the varicose veins are less than 3mm in diameter--then by all means Sclerotherapy is a viable options.
For Sclerotherapy to work, a caustic / highly irritating substance is injected in a vein to bring about inflammation of its walls followed by collapse and obstruction. Large veins have faster blood flow which moves this medication along faster, with less damage to the walls. If the deeper veins demonstrate significant increase in size with demonstrated reflux [reverse flow]--then more invasive procedures maybe necessary for desired effects.
I see patients in my office each day with the same story; "I had sclerotherapy for my spider veins and they did not go away". After ultrasound review, it was found that these patients had underlying problems with the larger veins. No amount of sclerotherapy would have resulted in the desired effect.
Medium sized varicose veins can still be treated with foam sclerotherapy.
Large varicose veins usually require endovenous laser treatments while medium ones do good with foam sclerotherapy for $350 per session and need usually 2-3 sessions at a month apart. Sincerely,
Sclerotherapy is NOT recommended for large Veins
Regarding: " Sclerotherapy for Large Veins? Can Sclerotherapy be used to treat large varicose veins?"
It depends what you mean by "large" veins. For Sclerotherapy to work, a caustic / highly irritating substance is injected in a vein to bring about inflammation of its walls followed by collapse and obstruction. Large veins have faster blood flow which moves this medication along faster, with less damage to the walls but with potential distribution to other areas where we would not want the medication to go. In addition, the farther the walls are apart, the less they can be brought together so they can adhere to one another and block the flow.
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Sclerotherapy can be used to treat varicose veins but it works much better on smaller spider and reticular veins. If you have varicose veins then you should first have a venous reflux ultrasound to look for malfunctioning (refluxing) of the saphenous vein system which is usually the cause of the varicose veins. If this is the case, then the leaking valves should be closed first with either a laser or radio frequency catheter. Following this the varicose veins could be treated with sclerotherapy or small micro incisions. You should get an opinion from a vein specialist.
Sclerotherapy is typically best for small reticular veins and spider veins. If you have large varicose veins, it may be best to have imaging done and be evaluated by a vascular surgeon.
Large varicose veins
Stripping is rarely done these days. Large varicose veins can be treated by ambulatory phlebectomy, small incisions, or laser energy delivered into the vein via a catheter (endovenous) or sclerosant foam. You should have an ultrasound examination by an experienced physician prior to the injections or other treatement.