Veins are tubular structures that serve as conduits to transport blood. Sometimes, veins are targeted for elimination when they become abnormal such as with varicose veins, or when they become unsightly as unwanted surface veins such as with spider veins. Injection Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that involves injecting a solution or sclerosant drug into targeted veins to make them shrink and collapse. Sclerotherapy has been used for over 150 years to treat veins ranging in size from large to small diameter, including varicose veins and spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure that is often technically challenging to perform and is best performed by a skilled vein specialist. Determining what veins to treat and what veins not to treat is based on experience, expertise, and the ability of the vein specialist to appropriately interpret and treat the patient’s problematic vein pattern. For treatment of unwanted spider veins, a vein light device is used by vein specialists at Hogue Vein Institute to allow direct visualization of the surface veins while targeting and injecting them. This vein treatment is called Visual-Guided Sclerotherapy. For treatment of non-visible, more deeply situated veins, ultrasound guidance is used to allow precise visualization of the varicose veins while targeting and injecting them. This vein treatment is called Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy may be done for therapeutic or medical reasons, or for elective or cosmetic reasons, or for both. If done for medical reasons, the therapeutic vein treatment is done to improve symptoms including pain, burning, itching, aching, cramping, tenderness, heaviness, restlessness, swelling, and edema. Private insurance and Medicare may provide coverage benefits for an Injection Sclerotherapy procedure when done for medical reasons, provided that coverage criteria and necessary documentation of the medical condition is met in accordance with the Summary Plan Document.
Injection Sclerotherapy may be done for elective or cosmetic reasons to improve the quality or appearance of the legs. Since Injection Sclerotherapy done primarily for cosmetic reasons is not a therapeutic vein treatment procedure, no insurance coverage or benefits exist. Payment for elective or cosmetic Injection Sclerotherapy is required at time of service.
LEG VEIN CONDITIONS AMENABLE TO TREATMENT WITH INJECTION SCLEROTHERAPY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- Varicose veins
- Collateral branches of varicose veins
- Reticular veins
- Spider veins
Recovery after Injection Sclerotherapy is usually rapid, with no down time. Complications are minimal in the hands of an experienced vein specialist. Temporary bruising may occur. Patients are encouraged to wear medical grade compression stockings following an Injection Sclerotherapy session, as well as implement daily walking to promote healthy blood flow in the legs.