Varithena vs Sclerotherapy: Which of these Varicose Vein Treatments will work for you?

Best vein clinic for treating varicose veins youngstown

If you’re struggling with varicose veins and wonder about the difference between Sclerotherapy and Varithena procedures for vein disease, then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will break down everything you need to know about the vein disease treatment options offered by Dr. Schmetterer Lawrence in Ohio.


Treatment Varithena  Sclerotherapy
Procedure Utilizes a unique patented micro-foam medication Uses a chemical solution that is injected into the varicose vein
Target Veins For larger or deeper veins For smaller or spider veins
Recovery Time Same day recovery Same day recovery 
Results Improved vein appearance and Reduced Symptoms Reduced symptoms and Improved vein appearance


What is a Varithena Procedure?

The treatment of varicose veins has traditionally been performed through radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, or surgical stripping, or phlebectomy. Now, there is a new non-thermal, non-tumescent procedure called Varithena

Varithena is a non-surgical procedure to treat varicose veins. Varithena, also known as polidocanol injectable foam, is compounded with oxygen and carbon dioxide microbubbles to create an injectable foam. This is used to treat varicose veins caused by leaking great saphenous vein (GSV) and other related veins in the leg’s GSV system.


How is Varithena Conducted?

 The doctor will inject the problem area of your vein with a small amount of foam. The foam causes the problem vein to collapse and allows your blood flow to shift to nearby healthy veins that will significantly improve the appearance of varicose veins and give much-needed relief. 


What to Expect From a Varithena Procedure?

Varithena is a minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure completed with a single small needle stick. No anesthetic is needed. The entire procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes. After the procedure, the doctor may apply bandages and compression stockings to obtain the best result.


What Are the Benefits of Undergoing the Varithena Procedure?

Varithena relieves symptoms caused by varicose veins and improves the appearance of varicose veins.

In 2 placebo-controlled studies called VANISH 1 and VANISH 2, most patients treated with Varithena experienced improvements in vein appearance and reduced symptoms.

  • Improved symptoms: the majority of patients reported improvement in symptoms where they no longer experience heaviness, achiness, swelling, throbbing, and itching.
  • Improved vein appearance: the majority of patients experience improved vein appearance, in assessments by both patients and doctors.


What Are the Risks of Varithena?

Like all medical procedures, treatment with Varithena may cause side effects in some patients. The most common side effect is leg pain or discomfort.

In the majority of cases, the leg pain subsides within one week. Other common side effects of Varithena treatment are injection site bruising or pain, and potentially serious blood clots in the leg veins.

You should not be treated with Varithena if you are allergic to polidocanol or have clots in your blood vessels. The procedure may result in severe allergic reactions which may be fatal in extremely rare cases. 

The following medical conditions may preclude you from being a candidate for Varithena:

  • Arterial disease
  • Reduced mobility
  • A history of blood clots in the veins or lungs
  • Major surgery in the past three months
  • A recent long hospital stay
  • Pregnancy


What is The Recovery Time For Varithena?

You may resume light activities as quickly as the same day of treatment. Avoid heavy exercise for one week after the Varithena treatment. Walk at least ten minutes a day for one month, and avoid long periods of inactivity.

The doctor will apply bandages and a compression stocking to the treated area, which should remain dry. The compression stockings must be worn day and night for three to fourteen days depending on the vein treated.


What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that treats varicose veins and spider veins, usually on the legs.

The doctor uses a needle to inject a special solution into your varicose vein or spider vein. This chemical solution irritates your blood vessel lining, making it expand, stick together, and form a scar. This closes off your vein, making it look and feel better.


Who Needs to Have Sclerotherapy Treatment?

Sclerotherapy may be appropriate for people with varicose veins or spider veins, but it’s not for everyone. Before the procedure, the doctor will decide if you qualify for this treatment.

You’re not eligible for sclerotherapy if you:

  • Have an active deep vein thrombosis or superficial vein thrombosis (blood clot).
  • Are pregnant. You’ll have to wait at least three months after delivery before you can have sclerotherapy.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • Unable to get out of bed.

You can still get sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you’ve had a blood clot in the past, you may have sclerotherapy, depending on what caused the clot and how serious it was.

In most cases, the doctor won’t do sclerotherapy on a vein you might need for future surgical bypass procedures, such as the saphenous vein for coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Talk to Dr. Schmetterer, the best Vascular Surgeon in Youngstown Ohio, about how successful he thinks sclerotherapy treatment will be for you.


What Are the Advantages of Sclerotherapy?

  • No anesthesia: with enough compression from the bandage on the vein, there is little pain. Compression also may help with bruising and swelling.
  • Good results for most people: sclerotherapy works especially well on smaller varicose veins. A session may get rid of an estimated 50% to 80% of injected veins. In about 10% of cases, sclerotherapy doesn’t work. If this happens, the doctor can try different solutions or a different method, such as laser therapy for vein disease.
  • Fairly quick results for small veins: spider veins usually respond to treatment in three to six weeks, but it may take three to four months for larger veins
  • With successful treatment, varicose veins or spider veins won’t appear: however, you may need treatment for new varicose veins that form.


What Are the Risks of Sclerotherapy?

  • Larger injected veins may get lumpy or hard for several months.
  • Brown lines or spots on your skin at the site of injection usually go away within three to six months. However, about 5% of the time, they can be permanent.
  • Bruising on the injection site can last several days or weeks.
  • Tiny blood vessels may develop in the treated area.
  • Allergic reactions to the injected chemical may happen at the time of injection and are rarely serious. Symptoms may include itching and swelling.


What is The Recovery Time of Sclerotherapy?

You may most likely see Dr. Schmetterer for a follow-up visit a month or two after sclerotherapy treatment. If you’re having multiple treatments, you may have your next session two or three months after your first one.


What Are the Main Differences Between Varithena & Sclerotherapy?

The main difference between Varithena and other sclerotherapy is that Varithena utilizes a unique patented micro-foam medication and it is often performed for larger or deeper veins compared to sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy for spider veins is commonly considered cosmetic, and therefore not covered by some insurance. In many cases, however, insurance coverage can be obtained for sclerotherapy.


Speak to Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer — the Leading Vascular Surgeon of Choice in Northeast Ohio

Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer is a vascular surgeon and vein expert based in Youngstown, Ohio. With his wide knowledge base and expertise, he can help you uncover the best treatments to remove your varicose veins. To find out how you can make varicose veins a thing of the past, get in touch with us today.


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