Avoid Compounding Pharmacies
"Doctors especially nondermatologists are trying to buy inexpensive sclerotherapy solutions from compound pharmacies and they don't know what they are getting," he warns.
These pharmacies are largely unregulated and can create solutions that may contain a potentially fatal cancer causing compound called carbitol. In a study conducted by Goldman, some solutions mixed by compounding pharmacies had dangerously high levels of carbitol. This research will be published later this year.
"This is an incredible problem," he says.
"You need to know what type of solution your doctor is using," Goldman says. "It needs to come from a pharmaceutical lab -- a real lab not from some guy buying detergent and mixing it in his own lab," he says, adding that it should be an FDA-approved, FDA-licensed, and FDA-sanctioned product.
"Go to a dermatologist or dermatological surgeon to get leg veins treated -- not an obstetrician or other specialist," he says. "I don't know any dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon who buys solutions from compounding pharmacies, but it is such a popular procedure and so many doctors on the planet are injecting solutions into patients' legs," he says.
Zapping Varicose Veins Away
A new laser treatment -- the Endo Laser Vein System -- destroys varicose veins from the inside out. It allows doctors to insert a laser into the vein and pull it out as it is fired. Whereas, older lasers shot the laser through the skin, this procedure requires only local anesthesia, a small incision, and no stitches, Goldman explains. Unlike previous treatments for varicose vein stripping which required general anesthesia.
"You insert a laser into the vein and destroy the vein from the inside out," while protecting the skin, he says.
It's also quick, Goldman says. "From the time I walk into the operation room until I walk out, it's about 12-14 minutes and for the patient, it's about 35 minutes."
"It's a very simple out-patient treatment and you are back to work that day," he says.
One study, slated to be published in the November 2004 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, showed that after 18 months, all 24 people who underwent the Endo laser intravascular procedure had been completely cured.