Dr Aquino's Blog Articles
Melinda L Aquino MD
I often get questions from pregnant patients asking about the best approach for treating varicose veins and spider veins. Varicose veins often get worse during pregnancy and patients want to konw if they should get treatments during or after they are pregnant. Many factors, such as hormone fluctuations, weight gain, increased blood volume, and the physical pressure of the fetus’ growing head in the pelvis can cause varicose and spider veins. All of these factors can contribute to the failure of the vein valves, and the worsening of backflow (or reflux) in the veins.
Many patients come to my office for sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injections of a solution directly into individual veins that cause them to eventually disappear. It is relatively painless, and has few serious side effects. Still, sclerotherapy is not for every vein patient, and there are some things that one should know prior to having sclerotherapy.
Many patients come to my office after already having researched sclerotherapy on the internet. One of the questions I am often asked is, “which solution do you use for sclerotherapy?”
There are basically three solutions that are widely used in the United States for spider vein treatment. They are sodium tetradecyl sulfate (Sotradecol), polidocanol (Asclera / Aethoxysclerol), and hypertonic saline.
If you have checked out the San Francisco Vein Center’s website, you may already know the full range of surgical treatments for venous insufficiency and varicose veins. You may also understand the non-surgical option of compression stockings, which are an extremely effective way to hold the disease at bay and improve symptoms at the same time.
But what about medical therapy? Is there a “magic pill” that will help varicose veins and venous insufficiency? In fact, there are medicines which can be taken to help venous insufficiency and the symptoms that accompany it. They can be quite effective in some patients.
I am often asked which of the two ablation procedures are better: radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or endovenous laser therapy (EVLT)?” It’s actually a very good question. Both of these techniques are “minimally invasive” means of treating venous insufficiency of the large superficial veins (the greater and lesser saphenous veins, specifically), which are the usual cause of varicose veins. Unlike older techniques, both laser and radiofrequency ablation involve no incision, and minimal recovery time. Usually, they are relatively painless to administer.