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Sclerotherapy is used to treat veins just below the skin's surface that are either invisible or difficult to see with the naked eye. In this procedure, small needles provide access to the vein so a detergent-like substance called a sclerosing agent can be injected into the vein's interior wall. This substance causes the vein to become sticky and seal shut, allowing it to disappear. Blood then finds a healthy path back to the heart. There is little risk of complication, and patients often experience an immediate relief of symptoms.

Sclerotherapy can be performed either with ultrasound guidance or light assistance. Both are safe and effective procedures that eliminate the need for traditional surgical removal of veins.

Light-assisted sclerotherapy is used to treat veins below the skin's surface that are difficult to see. These "reticular veins" are responsible for feeding the veins that are visible on the surface of the skin. During light-assisted sclerotherapy, a small, hand-held light illuminates the veins and tissue directly below the patient's skin. This allows the physician to clearly identify the source of the dysfunction and begin sclerotherapy.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is performed under the guidance of ultrasound. It is reserved for veins that are not visible, and cannot be seen with transcutaneous illumination. This procedure is often used to treat "perforator" veins, or veins that connect the superficial system (above the muscles in your leg) to the deep system (veins under and between the muscles of the leg). Perforator veins that cause venous insufficiency can result in skin ulcers, and must be treated at the source of the dysfunction. Due to their position along the artery, a skilled ultrasound sonographer is critical to the success of this procedure.

Visit the American College of Phlebology to understand more about venous disease, its symptoms, and its treatment.

Learn about your options. If you are experiencing leg discomfort or ulcers, or if you are interested in stopping the progression of varicose veins, the Vein Healthcare Center provides services for patients in Maine, New England, and surrounding communities. Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen is a certified phlebologist who provides complete medical care for your symptoms using the very best of today's treatment options.

Contact us at 207-221-7799, or visit us at our South Portland, Maine location.