Sclerotherapy

Treatment for:

Unsightly veins

It is the method of treating both small and large varicose veins and it can also be used to treat smaller veins that are often called spider veins.  The Rosenthal Clinic offers sclerotherapy and laser treatment options for certain conditions.

What are varicose veins?

These are swollen veins that can be blue, dark purple or even flesh coloured. They are often irregular with bulges and twists and may be seen as swollen cords bulging above the surface of the surrounding skin. They are most often found on the lower limbs but can appear elsewhere on the lower part of the body. They commonly develop in pregnancy.

What causes varicose veins?

The veins of our legs are dependent on one-way valves to prevent backflow of blood as it moves back to the heart. If one of the valves becomes damaged then there is pooling of blood on the valve below and swelling of the vein wall. This leads to a breakdown of the second valve and in this way the damage is propagated down the leg. The result is swollen, contorted and unsightly varicose veins and poor outflow of blood and fluid from the lower limb. Legs can become swollen, discoloured and eventually even ulcers may develop.

Inherited factors play a strong role in determining who develops this problem. However, we believe that hormones may also influence the changes in the veins. Women are more likely than men to have this problem and commonly, varicose veins appear for the first time during pregnancy. As pooling of blood is a major factor in causing changes in the veins, occupations that require standing for long periods, sitting with the legs crossed, wearing tight garments all contribute to the tendency to develop this problem. Wearing high heels which compromises the activity of the calf muscles also tends to promote changes in the veins. Being inactive, drinking excessively, being obese and smoking also can affect vein health. Varicose veins may appear for the first time in someone who has been injured by a direct blow to the legs.

If you suspect you have varicose veins, Dr. Rosenthal recommends you speak to your family physician and request a referral to a vein specialist.  Varicose veins are not typically treated at The Rosenthal Clinic.

What are spider veins?

These are tiny veins that can be dark red or dark blue in colour. They are often seen in the legs and look like the branches of a tree or can resemble a spider’s web. They are found close to the surface of the skin and can be present on the face and occasionally they can also be found on other parts of the body.

What causes spider veins?

These can be caused by a backup of blood. However, hereditary factors, hormonal changes and even sun exposure may lead to the development of this problem. Certainly, on the face and upper body excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can lead to the appearance of spider veins on the cheeks, nose and chest.

How does sclerotherapy work?

A tiny needle is used to inject material into the veins. This material causes an irritation to the lining of the vein so that the vein walls sticks together, collapse and the remains of the unwanted vein is reabsorbed by the body. The blood finds its way out of the legs through other healthier veins. The body is also capable of making new veins as needed. In other words, there is little worry about the circulation which in fact has improved because ineffective veins are no longer being used.

Dr. Rosenthal will assess your veins during your consultation and determine if they are treatable at The Rosenthal Clinic. If you are suffering from pain or advanced leg vein conditions, please contact your physician and request a referral to a vein specialist.  Dr. Rosenthal treats cosmetic veins only. Some veins are too small for adequate treatment using a needle and therefore laser therapy may be recommended over sclerotherapy.