Do you have unsightly blue or green veins on the back of your legs at your knees? You may have reticular veins, also known as feeder veins. Fortunately, vein doctors perform a procedure known as sclerotherapy to treat reticular veins.
Vein surgeons refer to sclerotherapy as the “criterion standard” for the treatment of reticular veins. The phrase “criterion standard” means they compare all other reticular vein treatments to sclerotherapy. In other words, sclerotherapy is the gold standard for reticular vein treatments.
About Those Unsightly Reticular Veins
You may know about varicose veins, which are enlarged veins that often resemble twisted ropes and appear anywhere on the legs, and tiny spider veins that look like little squiggly lines on your legs, face, or elsewhere on your body. If you are like many people, you have never heard of reticular veins.
Reticular veins are also a type of enlarged veins. They are smaller than varicose veins but larger than spider veins. Reticular veins may also take on a ropey appearance, so some people may mistake them for varicose veins. People call them “feeder veins” because they can feed spider veins.
Sclerotherapy for Reticular Veins
Vein surgeons perform sclerotherapy to treat reticular veins. Sclerotherapy is a procedure where the doctor injects a chemical, known as a sclerosant, into the affected vein. In response to the sclerosant, the walls of the affected vein swell, stick together, and seal shut.
Your circulatory system routes the blood through other veins. In time, the treated vein breaks apart; nearby tissue absorbs the remnants of the vein. The reticular vein slowly disappears from view.
The sclerosant can be liquid or foam. Your doctor may use foam sclerosant for your reticular veins because foam fills up larger veins.
But why is sclerotherapy the gold standard for reticular veins?
Vein specialists consider sclerotherapy as the criterion standard, or gold standard, for reticular veins. The recognized definition of criterion standard is “diagnostic standard for a particular disease or condition, used as a basis of comparison for other tests.” This means vein surgeons compare all other reticular vein treatments to sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy earned its position as the criterion standard because it is a safe and effective treatment for reticular veins. While it can cause temporary bruising, serious adverse events are rare.
Sclerotherapy is also comfortable and convenient for you. Sessions last an hour or less, depending on the number and size of your reticular veins. Sclerotherapy is more comfortable than it used to be, as today’s vein surgeons use very thin needles and advanced sclerosants.
If you have blue or green veins at the backs of your knees, ask your doctor if you have reticular veins. A vein doctor can tell you if sclerotherapy is right for you.
Reticular Vein Treatment: Sclerotherapy is the Gold Standard
Vein doctor discusses sclerotherapy as the gold standard for reticular veins, also known as feeder veins, those blue or green veins at the backs of your legs