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How safe is sclerotherapy for varicose veins?

Visible leg veins are not usually a serious health threat. However, they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. You may have heard of sclerotherapy, and are wondering if it is safe and effective for varicose veins. You can count on good advice from Dr. Adam Maddox and his staff at Portland’s premier aesthetic and anti-aging center – Thrive.

Spider vs. varicose veins

Spider and varicose veins stem from a common condition, yet there are significant differences. Veins in legs have a series of one-way valves. This keep blood flowing upward to the heart, where it is re-oxygenated and recirculated to extremities. As we age, vein walls weaken, causing valves to malfunction.

As blood pools in tiny capillaries, it forms a roadmap of red, brown, blue, and purple superficial spider veins. When blood backs up in larger vessels, it forms dark, bulging, ropey varicose veins.

When sclerotherapy is appropriate

Sclerotherapy involves injections of a special solution into visible veins. The formulation irritates the vein wall, causing it to close and die. Blood is harmlessly re-routed to healthy veins, while the body naturally absorbs the treated one.

This treatment is ideal to resolve spider veins. Smaller varicose veins may also be treated effectively with sclerotherapy.

Is sclerotherapy safe?

  • The technique has been in use since the 1930s.
  • The procedure was performed 270,223 times in this country in 2016 alone.
  • Thrive uses FDA-approved solutions.
  • Usually no anesthetic is needed.
  • Side effects are generally mild when they do occur.
  • Aftercare is simple – analgesics and wearing compression stockings.
  • Downtime is limited. You may walk right after treatment, and resume more rigorous physical exercise after 48 hours.
  • Treatment resolves up to 80 percent of injected veins, based on clinical research.

To find out if sclerotherapy is the best treatment for your spider or varicose veins, schedule an appointment at Thrive. The number is (503) 928-6505.


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One of the best clinics I have ever worked with. Dr. Maddox and his staff are phenomenal in both their services they provide and their customer services. I highly recommend this clinic!!

Dr. Adam Maddox - Medical Director

Dr. Adam Maddox image
A graduate from Northern Arizona University and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Adam Maddox is a very established professional in the field of integrative anti-aging and aesthetic medicine with a special interest in Botox, Restylane and Testosterone Replacement therapy for men to name a few.

As a board-certified physician, he has a passion to help people with their health especially as they get older. Dr. Maddox believes in maintaining a strong sense of empathy in order to better serve his patients whilst ensuring his care is personalized. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Maddox uses his time to train other medical professionals on various effective medical techniques used in the anti-ageing medical sphere such as injectable techniques. He is also the founder and medical director of Thrive Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Center in Portland, OR.

Find everything you need to age beautifully at Thrive

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