Midcoast Cardiovascular AssociatesSclerotherapy vs. Microphlebectomy — How Are They Different?

Sclerotherapy vs. Microphlebectomy — How Are They Different?

Varicose veins and spider veins are not only common cosmetic concerns but also can cause significant pain. If you have noticed the presence of large, bulging veins or darkened patches of veins with a web-like appearance, then seek treatment through a reputable vein expert as soon as possible.

At Midcoast Cardiovascular Associates, we focus on maintaining a healthy heart by promoting proper circulation and blood flow throughout the body. Even if you are not experiencing any discomfort or pain due to your varicose or spider veins, venous insufficiency should always be treated at the onset of symptoms to prevent serious conditions from developing. Sclerotherapy and microphlebectomy are two commonly used but fundamentally different approaches to eliminate insufficient veins that we offer at our practice.

A Series of Sclerotherapy Appointments for Varicose and Spider Vein Relief

Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective procedure that targets venous insufficiency using a series of strategic injections with a very fine needle. If you are interested in a quick and painless treatment that provides fast results, then you may be a good candidate for sclerotherapy.

While many patients are turned off by the idea of using needles to treat their problem veins, sclerotherapy is actually a comfortable and painless procedure. At the start of your appointment, Dr. Ginkel maps out your insufficient veins using ultrasound to precisely determine the most effective course of action for your individualized treatment.

Once the problem veins have been identified, Dr. Ginkel then begins injecting them with sclerosant, a chemical detergent that irritates the inner lining of the veins. The sclerosant is combined with lidocaine, an injectable numbing agent that helps ensure a comfortable and painless treatment. Most patients report not feeling a thing during their appointments.

After the injections, the treated veins collapse and are harmlessly absorbed by the body. Spider veins immediately disappear as they are eliminated and blood flow is safely redirected to other healthier veins. Varicose veins may require multiple treatments and several weeks before disappearing completely, so expect to wait a bit before achieving your desired results.

Most sclerotherapy patients need between three to six sessions in order to experience optimal results. We will help you determine the ideal treatment strategy, including the number of appointments necessary, after an in-person evaluation of your venous insufficiency. No two patients are the same, and we always approach every patient’s care differently according to their unique needs.

Remove Problem Varicose Veins for Good Using Microphlebectomy

Microphlebectomy, also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, is another form of venous insufficiency treatment wherein problem veins are removed directly during a minimally-invasive procedure. Rather than collapsing the problems veins using a chemical sclerosant like sclerotherapy, microphlebectomy instead removes the problem varicose veins through small incisions in the skin.

Just like sclerotherapy, the problem veins are first mapped out using ultrasound to ensure accurate and precise treatment. The targeted area is then numbed using local anesthesia, since the procedure does involve some small nicks in the skin. The incisions made are relatively small—usually less than two millimeters in length—and heal without needing stitches or leaving scars.

Once you have been numbed and the necessary incisions have been made, Dr. Ginkel removes the veins directly through the skin. The entire procedure generally takes 30 minutes to one hour, and most patients find they can comfortably resume all normal activities within one week.

Which Is the Better Procedure?

Both sclerotherapy and microphlebectomy are effective and safe options for treating venous insufficiency, but they are not always the right option for each patient. Sclerotherapy is great for treating unsightly clusters of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. If you are interested in a simple and painless procedure and have only minor venous insufficiency, then you may be a good candidate for sclerotherapy.

Microphlebectomy targets similar problems as sclerotherapy but on a different scale. The procedure removes the veins directly and is not intended to be used for smaller, more cosmetic vein issues like sclerotherapy can be. Patients with large, twisted varicose veins that are about the width of a finger are typically ideal candidates for this minimally-invasive procedure. Microphlebectomy is also a bit more invasive and requires a longer period of downtime and recovery than sclerotherapy may.

The answer to which procedure is right for you ultimately relies on the results of ultrasound diagnostic testing and the advice of vein expert.

Comprehensive Hearth-Healthy Treatment at Midcoast Cardiovascular Associates

Under the leadership of Dr. Ginkel, our resident vein care expert, we at Midcoast Cardiovascular Associates want to help you treat your venous insufficiency with the safest in minimally-invasive treatments. If you have questions about sclerotherapy, microphlebectomy or any of the other procedures offered at our practice, call us today at 805-354-0112 to book a consultation.

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