Vein Therapy - Sclerotherapy - Westport, CT
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure done by Dr. Brownell to treat uncomplicated spider veins and uncomplicated reticular veins. The cosmetic treatment involves the injection of a solution called Asclera™ into the affected veins. Asclera™ works best in the legs.
Asclera™ is approved by the FDA to treat uncomplicated spider veins (varicose veins less than or equal to 1 mm in diameter) and uncomplicated reticular veins (varicose veins 1 to 3 mm in diameter) in the lower extremities. It has not been studied in larger varicose veins greater than 3 mm in diameter. Once injected, it acts by damaging the cell lining of blood vessels, causing them to close and eventually disappear.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are very small and very fine red or blue veins. They are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like a thin red line, tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and may cover a small or large area.
What are reticular veins?
Reticular veins can also be known as feeder veins. They are the blue and green veins beneath the surface of the skin. Reticular veins enlarge because of increased pressure in the vein. They can be caused by heredity. You may have reticular veins alone, but you may also have spider veins at the same time.
What causes spider and reticular veins?
Spider and reticular veins can be caused by many factors.
- Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them. Approximately half of the people who get varicose veins have a family history of them.
- Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
- Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within 3 to 12 months following delivery.
- Overweight and obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
- Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart. Prolonged standing due to certain occupations increases the chance of having spider veins and reticular veins emerge.
What is Asclera™?
Asclera™ or Polidocanol, is an injectable agent used to help treat varicose veins (1 to 3 mm in diameter) and spider veins (less than 1 mm in diameter) which is currently being used in Europe and elsewhere and received FDA approval for use in the United States in 2010.
How does Asclera™ work?
Asclera™, like other pharmaceutical sclerosing agents, irritates the interior walls of the vein, causing them to constrict and close. This prevents the flow of blood through the affected vein and can effectively eliminate the swelling, bulging, discomfort and discoloration which may be caused by reticular veins or spider veins.
What are the advantages of Asclera over other similar cosmetic treatments?
Asclera™ (polidocanol) Injection has been used Europe to safely and effectively treat spider and reticular veins in the legs for over 40 years. In this time, over 5 million treatments have been performed with a very high success rate. In addition, Asclera™ has anesthetic properties, which may make treatment more comfortable for patients.
Who is a candidate for Asclera™ treatment?
Most men and women who are experiencing spider veins and reticular veins are good candidates for Asclera™ treatment. Patients with certain blood conditions or vascular ailments, as well as those taking specific medications may not be suitable candidates. Be sure to discuss any current medical conditions and medications with Dr. Brownell before undergoing any vein procedure. In addition, women who are pregnant are not generally considered good candidates for this or other vein sclerosing treatments. Asclera™ should not be used in patients with known allergies to polidocanol (lauromacrogol 400) or any of the other ingredients of Asclera™.
What will the cosmetic treatment results be like?
For most patients, results will be evident in one to three treatments with Asclera™ and can be evaluated within a few days of treatment. Some patients may require additional cosmetic treatments to address stubborn veins.
What are the risks?
With any injection sclerotherapy treatment there is always a risk of scarring or skin breakdown at the site of treatment. In addition, treatment with any sclerosing agent incurs a very small risk of infection.