Sclerotherapy and Photoderm/IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) are medical procedures used in the treatment of varicose veins. Both procedures take different approaches to treating varicose veins, and learning about these methods of treatment will help you understand and choose which option may be best for you.
Varicose veins can be painful and sometimes restrictive, and treating them most often involves techniques that aim to reduce the bulges in veins and reestablish optimal blood flow. Both sclerotherapy and Photoderm/IPL are treatments that seek to achieve these results non-surgically.
Understanding Sclerotherapy and Its Benefits
Sclerotherapy is a well-established form of treatment for varicose veins and other vascular malformations. During this treatment, an injection of sclerosing solution is applied to swollen veins, which causes them to shrink and slowly break down. The body then absorbs the treated vein, and the bulges resulting from the condition eventually disappear.
What this means for you is that the procedure is only minimally invasive and completely non-surgical. It neither restricts your movement nor requires you to take significant time off for recovery. You may be required to wear compressive bandages or stockings for a time, depending on the type of veins that were treated.
Since sclerotherapy removes the affected veins, the chances of recurrence in the treated areas are greatly reduced. This means that you won’t have to worry about unsightly veins returning after treatment.
Understanding Photoderm/IPL Laser Treatment and Its Benefits
Photoderm/IPL laser treatment may be a relatively newer method of treatment for varicose veins when compared to sclerotherapy, but it is no less effective.
IPL laser treatment involves the use of intensely concentrated pulses of light shined onto the veins. This intense pulse of light heats the bulged veins, causing them to collapse, and the targeted damage makes them shrink.
The concentrated spectrum of light is applied using a laser device that emits light pulses of determined intensity to a specific surface. The duration of the procedure depends on the type of veins being targeted and their condition.
IPL laser treatments are highly targeted procedures, so they ensure that you suffer no damage to surrounding tissue during treatment. Being non-surgical, this method is also not time intensive during recovery. The treatment itself induces only minimal pain and may be an excellent choice for you if you are averse to painful procedures.
What’s the Best Choice for You?
While both procedures have their benefits, their approaches to treatment are vastly different. You can choose the treatment that best suits your preference. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sclerosing solution, while IPL laser treatments are completely non-invasive. Sclerotherapy works to remove the bulging veins entirely, while IPL laser treatments work to reduce the bulges in the veins. IPL laser treatments are less painful than sclerotherapy, and both methods are relatively painless when compared to surgical treatments for varicose veins.
Photoderm/IPL treatment is typically used for smaller veins found on the legs, along with ones on the cheeks and near the nose. Sclerotherapy is often used to treat larger veins and smaller spider veins. Sclerotherapy and IPL laser treatments are some of the most convenient and less invasive methods to effectively treat varicose veins, and it is up to you and your plastic surgeon to decide which of these is best for you.
Take the Next Step Towards Vein Removal
Dr. Patrick Felice is a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon with numerous satisfied patients. Contact the office of Dr. Felice to set up a consultation and get started with your vein treatment.