Sclerotherapy Specialist

Goke Akinwande, MD -  - Vascular and Interventional Radiologist

Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy

Goke Akinwande, MD

Vascular and Interventional Radiologist located in St Louis, MO

Sclerotherapy is one of the top treatments for unsightly spider veins or varicose veins. As a highly skilled vascular physician, Goke Akinwande, MD, at Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy (MINT) frequently uses sclerotherapy to eliminate unwanted veins, treating the underlying disease, and preventing complications while improving your appearance. To learn more about sclerotherapy, call one of the offices in Creve Coeur or St. Louis, Missouri, or schedule an appointment online today.

Sclerotherapy Q&A

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment that permanently eliminates spider veins and varicose veins. During sclerotherapy, your MINT provider injects medication into the veins.

The medication, called a sclerosant, makes the vein walls collapse. The vein gradually disappears as your body absorbs the treated tissues. Then blood is naturally rerouted through other healthy veins.

A liquid sclerosant is used for small to moderately sized veins. For larger varicose veins, your provider injects a medication that turns into a foam and expands within the vein to reach all the walls.

What causes spider veins and varicose veins?

Spider veins and varicose veins develop when valves in the veins weaken and stop working. The valves normally ensure blood flows toward your heart. 

When a valve fails, blood flows in the wrong direction and accumulates in the veins. This condition, called venous insufficiency, results in engorged veins that become visible spider veins and varicose veins.

What symptoms indicate I may need sclerotherapy?

Spider veins affect your appearance, but they seldom cause symptoms. Though spider veins alone don’t lead to health problems, their presence can be a sign of more serious venous disease in your legs or body.

Varicose veins can cause symptoms and health complications. The most common symptoms include:

  • Leg pain, aching, or cramping
  • Heavy-feeling or tired-feeling legs
  • Leg itching or burning
  • Leg swelling
  • Restless legs
  • An eczema-like rash
  • Thick and discolored skin
  • Nonhealing sores on your lower leg and ankle

Nonhealing sores, called venous stasis ulcers, won’t heal without intensive medical wound care at MINT. Without treatment, the ulcers get larger and often lead to serious skin and bone infections.

What should I expect during sclerotherapy?

Spider veins are so small that most patients don’t need a topical anesthetic. But when treating varicose veins, your provider does use a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort.

After making one injection, your provider massages the area and applies a temporary compression pad while they get ready to do the next injection. The total number of injections you may need depends on the extent of the problem.

Patients start walking shortly after their procedure is finished. You wear compression stockings and may need to avoid intense activities for about two weeks. Otherwise, you can get back to your usual activities when you leave the office.

If you need treatment for spider veins or varicose veins, call Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy or book an appointment online today.