Varicose veins occur when the tiny valves inside blood vessels malfunction and allow blood to back up and pool, causing bulging, swollen, purplish veins on the legs and other areas. For the thousands of men and women who suffer from them and their smaller counterparts, spider veins, they are more than unsightly inconveniences. They also cause pain, aching, and heaviness in the legs, as well as cosmetic discoloration.
Sclerotherapy is one of the primary methods of treating varicose and spider veins, involving the injection of a chemical agent that causes veins to harden (or sclerose) and constrict, preventing blood flow. Asclera, a sclerosing agent that has been successfully used in Europe for more than 40 years, was FDA-approved for use in the United States in 2010. Treatment with Asclera is relatively simple. Prior to injection, the treatment area is cleansed and a topical anesthetic may be applied to reduce discomfort.
After the treatment area is prepared, Asclera is injected directly into problem veins using a small needle. Polidocanol, the active ingredient in Asclera, is the chemical that encourages the problematic veins to close, and it also contains anesthetic properties which may lessen discomfort during the procedure. In most cases, the entire treatment takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
Most patients return to their normal activities immediately after treatment. If you need a safe, effective way to treat your small varicose or spider veins, ask your specialist for more information on Asclera and to notify you when it becomes available in your area.