Vein Treatment

Whats Involved in Sclerotherapy Hand Vein Treatment?

Bulging hand veins can make some people self-conscious about their appearance. Although generally harmless, prominent veins on the hands and wrists can signal age or health issues to others. If you’re looking to reduce the visibility of hand veins for cosmetic reasons or to improve symptoms like pain, sclerotherapy may help.

Sclerotherapy Hand Vein Treatment

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting a solution, called a sclerosant, into smaller veins in order to damage and scar their inner lining. This causes the vein to close off and be reabsorbed by the body over time. With the problematic veins out of commission, blood gets redirected into healthier veins nearby.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about using sclerotherapy to remove visible hand veins, including how it works, what to expect, effectiveness and duration of results, cost considerations, risks and side effects, and helpful pre- and post-treatment care tips.

What Causes Bulging Hand Veins?

Before explaining how sclerotherapy treats them, let’s look at some reasons why hand veins become noticeably apparent in the first place:

  • Genetics – Some people inherit a tendency for thinner skin or blood vessels located closer to the surface, making veins more visible. Hand veins often become more pronounced with age as skin loses elasticity.
  • Pregnancy – Hormone changes and increased blood volume during pregnancy can enlarge hand veins. These sometimes, but not always, return to normal after giving birth.
  • Weight changes – Losing a significant amount of body fat reveals veins that were previously cushioned under the skin.
  • Dehydration – When the body lacks fluid, veins look extra protrusive until hydration is restored.
  • Warm temperatures – Heat causes veins to dilate and show through the skin more than when cool.
  • Medications – Certain medications like steroids or blood pressure medications can thin skin or affect vein structure.
  • Injuries and medical conditions – Trauma to hands and vascular issues like venous reflux disease can contribute to visible surface veins.

Of course, for some people bulging hand veins are simply an unsightly cosmetic nuisance without any identifiable cause. Fortunately, sclerotherapy offers a solution either way.

How Does Sclerotherapy Work to Eliminate Hand Veins?

Sclerotherapy takes advantage of the fact that smaller blood vessels like veins have a thinner middle membrane compared to their tough outer walls. When a chemical irritant like a sclerosant is injected into the vein lumen, it damages the fragile inner lining, causing blood clotting and an inflammatory reaction.

Here is the step-by-step process your hand would undergo during a typical sclerotherapy session:

  1. After cleaning the surface of your hand with an antiseptic, the doctor or technician will use a very fine needle to inject a small amount of sclerosant solution into the problem vein.
  2. Over the next 24-48 hours following treatment, the irritation from the sclerosant triggers inflammation and clotting that essentially destroys the vein from the inside. The vein hardens and eventually turns into scar tissue that gets reabsorbed into the surrounding tissue.
  3. Once the damaged vein disappears, blood flow automatically reroutes through healthier veins deeper under the skin, reducing surface bulging.
  4. Additional treatments spaced several weeks apart are usually needed to address tributaries (smaller branch veins) and achieve the best cosmetic results.

The most commonly used sclerosing solutions today are sodium tetradecyl sulfate and polidocanol. Both chemicals have a proven track record for Safety and efficacy in treating varicose veins and surface blood vessels on many parts of the body.

What to Expect During and After Hand Vein Sclerotherapy

The good news about sclerotherapy for hand veins is that treatments are relatively quick, cause minimal discomfort, and require very little recovery time. Here is what you can expect:

During the procedure

Each treatment session only takes about 10-15 minutes. Using ultrasound guidance and a magnifying lens for precision, your doctor will inject an amount of sclerosant that’s calibrated to the vein size – usually around 0.1-0.3 mL per injection site. You’ll feel a small needle prick followed by mild burning for several seconds as the solution goes in. After pulling the needle out, direct pressure gets applied to close the puncture point and minimize bruising. You’ll also wear compression gloves for a short period after each session.

Immediately after treatment

You may experience some tingling, swelling, or cramping as vein inflammation and clotting kick in. Bruises sometimes appear but should fade within 7-14 days. Instruct your doctor if bruising worsens or you have excessive swelling, numbness, or skin ulceration, as those can indicate vascular complications.

Long term side effects

When successful, the problematic vein will disappear after a few weeks, leaving no surface trace. Skin above the injection sites often appears slightly darker at first due to trapped blood, but color ultimately normalizes. Your hands regaining a smoother, vein-free appearance after 1-2 months.

Is Sclerotherapy Effective for Removing Hand Veins?

Multiple clinical studies underscore sclerotherapy as an effective treatment for minimizing hand veins, with success rates averaging between 60-80%. More than one injection session is usually required to achieve desired cosmetic improvement. This table summarizes typical outcomes:

Sclerotherapy Hand Vein Treatment Effectiveness Number of treatment sessions Percentage of veins eliminated

1. 50-70%

2. 60-90%

3. 80-98%

4. Up to 100%

Note that underlying venous disorders causing visible veins may lower treatment success rates compared to purely cosmetic cases. Maintaining a healthy body weight and staying hydrated helps prevent recurrence after veins close post-treatment.

How Long Do Results Last?

With properly executed technique, sclerotherapy hand vein improvements can last for years. However, some degree of vein recurrence over time is fairly common for the following reasons:

  • New vein formation (neovascularization)
  • Untreated deeper veins eventually rising closer to the surface again
  • Further skin aging and loss of supporting subcutaneous fat

On average, people can expect their minimally invasive vein removal results to last around 3-5 years. But nearly 10 years of vein-free hands isn’t unheard of with this technique. Periodic touch-up sessions help enjoy lasting aesthetic benefits.

Cost and Health Insurance Coverage

As a primarily cosmetic intervention, the typical cost per sclerotherapy session ranges from $200-$500 depending on your geographic location and provider. Unfortunately most health insurance plans exclude coverage for treating hand veins due to their medically unnecessary nature. But if prominent veins cause symptoms like throbbing, pain, numbness or impaired mobility, you can submit a claim to see if exceptions apply in your case. Either way – cosmetic or medically warranted, sclerotherapy remains very economical compared to surgical vein stripping.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Reputable clinics boast an excellent safety profile with sclerotherapy procedures. As with any injection though, the most common downsides include:

  • Mild burning or stinging during injection – subsides within 60 seconds
  • Temporary redness, swelling, bruising lasting 1-2 weeks tops
  • Skin pigmentation changes often fade within 4 months

Rarer side effects like tissue ulceration, allergic reaction to the sclerosant, and blood clots require prompt medical care but occur less than 3% of the time.

Pre- and Post-Treatment Care Tips

Before and after your vein removal sessions, following these self-care tips speeds healing and enhances your results:

  • Stay well hydrated – drink plenty of water before and for 2 days post-treatment
  • Take over-the-counter pain meds as needed for soreness
  • Apply cool compresses to minimize swelling
  • Keep new compression gloves on for 3 days, removing only to wash hands
  • Avoid hot baths, showers, saunas, and whirlpools for 1 week
  • Refrain from strenuous activity involving the hands for 72 hours
  • Massage the treatment area gently to prevent blood clots
  • Use sun protection diligently on the hands to prevent pigmentation issues

FAQs

Still have questions about eliminating hand veins through sclerotherapy? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long is the recovery time after each treatment?

Minimal downtime is a major benefit of sclerotherapy. Aside from wearing compression gloves up to 5 days, you can resume normal activities immediately. Some residual bruising and tenderness usually resolves within 2 weeks.

How many injections are needed per vein?

One or sometimes two injections spaced about 1 centimeter apart typically treats an average hand vein.

Do the injections hurt?

There is some needle prick discomfort but serious pain is very uncommon.

When will my veins disappear after treatment?

Treated veins gradually fade over 4-6 weeks as the sclerosant finishes its work and veins reabsorb into the body.

Can sclerotherapy treat very large ropey hand veins?

For severely enlarged protruding veins, phlebectomy surgery or endovenous laser ablation usually work better. Sclerotherapy excels at targeting smaller veins up to about 3 mm wide.

Conclusion

Although bulging hand veins pose no critical health risks, their unsightly appearance often prompts people to seek treatment. Non-invasive sclerotherapy has proven safe and effective for eliminating small to moderately enlarged hand veins with high patient satisfaction scores. If simpler measures like staying hydrated or wearing gloves to conceal vein prominence no longer suffice, consider scheduling an introductory consultation with a vein care specialist in your area to learn if you’re a good candidate for sclerotherapy. Within a few monthly sessions, it’s possible to restore confident, vein-free hands that look smooth and youthful again

Selina

My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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