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Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

What is Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy?

Ultrasound Sclerotherapy

When a vein cannot be seen because it is hidden beneath the skin, Dr. Kapusta may use ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. For these procedures, the sclerosant solution is injected into the abnormal vein after it is targeted using ultrasound imaging. Prior to entering to inject the sclerosant solution, in these procedures a detailed ultrasound examination is usually done first to provide a roadmap of sorts for the upcoming sclerotherapy.

What Sclerotherapy Targets

The procedure basically substitutes ultrasound imaging for the naked eye of Dr. Kapusta. With spider or varicose veins that are visible, it’s not difficult to see the targeted vein and deliver the sclerosant into the vein. When the vein is hidden beneath thicker skin, however, this isn’t possible. Ultrasound imaging is used to visualize the vein first, and then to guide the delivery of the sclerosant solution.

Are there any risks involved with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy?

Ultrasound doesn’t add any additional risk to these already very low-risk treatments with Dr. Kapusta. Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate the images of the veins Dr. Kapusta is targeting. You’ve probably heard of ultrasound being used to provide images of the fetus during pregnancy. This is a safe, harmless energy source that has been used for decades and presents no negative impacts on the human body.

Sclerotherapy has been used for over 90 years, and it has proven safe and effective. There is a very low risk of any reaction to the sclerosant solution. Tens of millions of sclerosant injections have been given and continue to be the method of choice for treating spider veins and smaller varicose veins.

Minor issues may be some redness at the injection sites and slight irritation, but that’s about it.

Is sclerotherapy painful?

Some of our Houston patients assume these injections must be painful. Not so. We deliver these injections with very tiny needles, and the injections are not made to great depth. Our patients equate the feeling of each injection to that of a pinprick.

The ultrasound added to guide Dr. Kapusta as needed is painless.

Preparation needed for the Procedure

There isn’t any preparation necessary prior to these treatments at our offices on Weslayan Street in Houston.

What Happens During Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy?

Prior to targeting the vein or veins in your session, Dr. Kapusta will usually perform an ultrasound examination of the area. This gives him a good idea of the precise locations of the abnormal veins, as well as adjacent structures such as deep veins and arteries. It also gives him a better idea of what is creating the varicose veins.

The ultrasound energy is delivered through a hand-held wand over the treatment area. It broadcasts images to a video screen that Dr. Kapusta can view to guide him, providing precise accuracy for delivery of the sclerotherapy needle. Once he arrives at the correct vein, the sclerosant solution is injected. The sclerosant irritates the vein wall and the vein collapses. For larger veins, this process is repeated down the vein until it is completely closed and dramatically lessened in appearance. Any blood that was running through the vein is instantly re-routed to an adjacent, healthy vein. The body then scavenges the closed off vein over the new few weeks.

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy Procedure

An ultrasound examination maps the abnormal veins and helps identify the origin and course of the veins. Dr. Kapusta, using the ultrasound guidance is able to accurately guide the needle and precisely inject the abnormal veins. He is then able to visualize the progress via the ultrasound. Adjacent structures are identified and kept safe from injury. Sometimes the sclerosant solution is mixed with CO2 to create a foam and enhance the effectiveness.

After the procedure, the patients are fitted with stockings and encouraged to walk. Patients are seen two weeks after the procedure and a repeat ultrasound is done to ensure the success of the treatment.

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy Patient Testimonial

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy Houston TX

Maggie J. 
“Could not be happier with the results I got at this clinic. Dr. Kapusta and his staff are wonderful. The process from evaluation to treatment is very efficient with ultrasound being done in the office by Dr. Kapusta and explained to you right there. I was very comfortable during my procedure and am loving my new legs! I highly recommend this clinic. “

What Happens After Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy?

Recovery for Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is no different than the recovery process for normal sclerotherapy. Most patients are able to return to normal activities the same days as their procedure. We advise our patients to use compression bandages around the area of treatment for several days. It is expected to experience some mild swelling and bruising for a few days following treatment.

The Advantages of Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Before ultrasound guidance was available, the only way to address abnormal veins that couldn’t be seen visually was through vein stripping, a surgical procedure where the skin is opened above the vein to access the vein. Obviously, this created a much more involved recovery and the overall procedure was more difficult. By using ultrasound guidance, the scope of sclerotherapy has expanded, dramatically lessening the use of vein stripping.

Ultrasound allows Dr. Kapusta to more accurately locate the veins that need treatment. It simply takes the guesswork out of the process.

What Happens After Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy?

Recovery for Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is no different than the recovery process for normal sclerotherapy. Most patients are able to return to normal activities the same days as their procedure. We advise our patients to use compression bandages around the area of treatment for several days. It is expected to experience some mild swelling and bruising for a few days following treatment.

Recovery after the Procedure

SclerotherapyThere really isn’t any recovery. Dr. Kapusta will want you to wear a compression hose for one week after your sclerotherapy session. This helps keep pressure on the closed off veins, and it helps the body begin the process of scavenging the now-unused veins.

You can walk immediately after your session, but for the first day after your treatment, you’ll want to limit yourself to only low-impact activity. The next day you can return to your normal activities.

Are the veins treated with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy permanently gone?

The veins that close off and disappear due to the injection of the sclerosant agent are gone for good. They close off in reaction to the sclerosant, and the body then scavenges and removes them over the next few weeks. Any blood that was in the veins instantly is shifted to a nearby, healthy vein.

Of course, the circumstances that allowed the formation of your varicose and spider veins in the first place remain. That means you could form new spider and varicose veins down the road. If you do, another visit to see us at Vein Center Houston can get rid of any newcomers.

How can I maintain my results after sclerotherapy?

Maintaining your results means not developing any more spider and varicose veins. That’s pretty hard to do, especially if you have a job where you’re on your feet all day, such as a flight attendant or retail worker. Genetics also play a role, and you can’t do much about your genes.

Still, there are some things you can do to try and prevent future new unhealthy veins from developing:

  • Exercise regularly — Your leg muscles are your best defense against the formation of new varicose and spider veins. When they are strong, they help the veins push the blood up the legs. That’s why these veins develop in the first place when our legs become weaker with age. Keep them strong.
  • Lose weight — If your overweight or obese, the best thing you can do is lose weight. That will decrease the pressure on your legs and lower the chances of backflow in your veins, which is the cause of varicose and spider vein formation.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods — When you sit all day at your job, the blood doesn’t move much in your leg veins. So, get up every half hour or so and walk around just a bit. This forces your leg muscles to move blood toward your heart more than when you’re sitting. If you have to stand all day, do the opposite, and sit down periodically to give your legs a break.
  • Put your feet up — If possible, place your feet on a chair or stool positioned so the blood will be able to flow back toward your heart. This is especially important if you have the sitting and standing jobs described above.
  • Wear support pantyhose — If you need to wear pantyhose for work, make them support hose. These don’t provide the same pressure as compression hose, but they are better than regular pantyhose.
  • Get some compression hose — If you are prone to developing spider and varicose veins, or if you have to sit or stand for long periods for work, wearing compression hose is a good idea. These put pressure on the ankle and lower leg to help move the blood upward toward the heart. They make up for the support that is decreasing in aging leg tissues.

Schedule A Consultation in Houston, TX

If you are suffering from varicose or spider veins, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy may be a good treatment option for you. To find out more information, call (713) 349-8346 to schedule a consultation at Vein Center Houston.

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Locations

Memorial
11221 Katy Freeway Suite 115
Houston, TX 77079
West University
5585 Weslayan
St Houston, TX 77005
Brenham
635 Medical Parkway
Brenham, TX 77833

The information on this website is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.

Vein Center Houston is proud to announce a merger with Texas Vein & Wellness Institute
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To schedule an appointment or learn more please call us at 281-888-1464 or visit us at www.txvwi.com.