Spider veins are the unsightly clusters of purple, blue, and red lines coursing about on your thighs, calves, and ankles as we get older. Their color comes from the fact that they hold de-oxygenated blood that is being transported back to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation. The fact that you can see them is because they are just beneath the surface of the skin.
Dr. Stevens uses sclerotherapy to help our patients from across the Central Coast get rid of their spider veins. For these procedures, he uses Asclera (polidocanol) as the sclerosant.
How Is Sclerotherapy Done?
Sclerotherapy is a simple treatment. The unwanted spider vein cluster or clusters are identified. Then Dr. Stevens takes a syringe filled with the sclerosant and he injects the material directly into and around the spider vein. The sclerosant contains material that irritates the walls of the blood vessels. This causes the walls of the spider vein to collapse, and this closes off the vein. It basically becomes inflamed to the degree that it closes off blood flow. Any blood that was moving through the unhealthy vein is instantly transferred by the body to an adjacent healthy vein.
What Is Asclera?
Asclera is made of polidocanol. This prescription drug is made up of ethoxylation of dodecanol, if you want the science. The FDA approved the use of Asclera as a sclerosant in 2010. It had been used in Europe for over 50 years, where the medication is marketed as Aethoxysklerol. To gain FDA approval, Asclera had to be shown to be effective and safe in clinical trials. This led to approval for treatment of spider veins.
How Does Asclera Work?
When Asclera is injected into an unsightly vein, it damages the endothelium, which is the clinical term for the walls of the blood vessel. This damage causes platelets and cellular debris to attach to the lining of the vessels. As these substances accumulate, the blood vessels eventually closes and the blood clots.
Do you want to get rid of your spider veins before a Central Coast summer? Call Dr. Stevens at Premier Heart & Vein Care, (805) 540-3333, to schedule an appointment for sclerotherapy with Asclera.