Varicose veins can be both physically and mentally painful. Heaviness, cramping, restless legs, and itching are very common symptoms. Patients frequently find that elevating the legs above the heart can temporarily relieve the pain associated with them. Many patients are embarrassed by the unsightly appearance of varicose and spider veins and this can have a very negative impact on their quality of life. It is very common for patients to avoid shorts and bathing suits because of the emotional turmoil of having this condition.
Sclerotherapy is the treatment of varicose and spider veins by the injection of a chemical irritant to sclerose or harden the blood vessels. The affected vein then collapses, disintegrates, and is absorbed by the healthy veins to be carried away as waste material. There are more than enough healthy veins to accommodate the body’s need. Varicose veins are not a productive part of the circulation and will not be missed.
While spider vein treatment is generally considered cosmetic in nature, treatment of larger varicose veins frequently becomes a medical necessity. Large varicose vein disease very often involves bulging, painful veins that interfere with normal everyday living, such as walking or even standing for any length of time. Large varicose vein disease can lead to ulcers, phlebitis, and even life threatening blood clots. For these reasons alone, varicose vein disease should be under the care of a properly trained practitioner.