Restore Blog

Sclerotherapy: Treatment of Varicose Veins of the lower extremity

Lasers can work magic to remove brown sunspots and lumps and bumps all over the body. When it comes to broken capillaries and varicose veins, lasers are the treatment of choice for the face, the chest and almost anywhere EXCEPT the lower extremities.

The veins in the legs are under high pressure as they have to work against gravity to get blood up to the heart…The laser energy required to close these vessels has to be much higher than what is used on the face and the rest of the body. As a result, only the smallest red varicose veins are amenable to laser treatment. Any visible blue veins are too large to close with laser.

Many studies have been done comparing laser treatment to sclerotherapy, the closure of veins through injection of sclerosing medications. It has been shown that while laser can be as effective as sclerotherapy for closing varicose veins on the legs, laser is much more painful than injections.

With the aid of the ultrasound to help find underlying veins that are responsible for the varicose veins, we find that sclerotherapy is a very efficient and effective method of treating varicose veins. Often, by closing these “feeder veins”, we don’t even need to inject the varicose veins as they disappear on their own.

Many people are under the impression that lasers don’t hurt and that everything is treated better with a laser. In my books, and in the books of most experienced vein doctors, sclerotherapy remains the gold standard for treatment of varicose veins on the legs.

Part of the Kelowna lifestyle is such that we are active and outdoors most of the spring and summer. Don’t let unsightly varicose veins and painful spider veins hold you back.

Enjoy the Okanagan!