What is sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Veins are injected with a sterile chemical sclerant, which irritates the vessel's lining, making it become inflamed, harden, and eventually fade away completely. Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are tiny veins that constantly look dilated. Caused by weak vascular walls and inefficient circulation, spider veins cause no health problems but many people feel they look unappealing. Spider veins can sometimes resemble a spider: a large dark spot with thin veins radiating out of it, or they may appear in other patterns and variations in different places in the body. Frequently occurring in the legs, spider veins can be dark or lighter shades of blue, purple, or red.
How is the procedure performed?
The treatment will begin with injecting the sclerosant into first the larger veins, then smaller ones, monitoring the progress of the chemical throughout the process. For every inch of vein treated, one injection will likely be administered. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia. The injection process typically is complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. A minor stinging or burning sensation is common during and right after the injections are made, but is short lived. After the treatment is finished, it is recommended that clients use compression or support hose for at least a few days. These can be purchased at our site for your convenience.
What happens after sclerotherapy treatment?
Any discomfort can be easily managed with over the counter pain medications, and is alleviated by the use of compression bandages or hose. Some mild bruising, itching, and swelling at the injection site is normal, but otherwise side effects are uncommon and short in duration.
What are side effects of sclerotherapy?
Because the procedure is minimally-invasive, very few side effects are associated with it. Some minor itching and burning immediately after the treatment is normal and quickly fades. In rare cases, allergic reactions and infection at the injection site may occur.
Where is the procedure done?
Since sclerotherapy is minimally-invasive and almost pain-free, it can be performed in the office. Anesthesia is not needed and complications are infrequent. Although sclerotherapy is very safe, it is considered to be so only when administered by a professional.
Can sclerotherapy be used to treat large varicose veins?
Because they require more sclerant injected than is safe, large varicose veins are not treated with sclerotherapy. Small to medium sized veins respond best to sclerotherapy procedures. There are many other techniques available for the effective treatment of larger vein problems, which you can discuss with your vascular specialist.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. These follow up treatments should be spaced at least four weeks apart so that the affects of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated before injecting more. Patients can determine the amount of treatments they may need and the cost associated with them by discussing their situation with their specialist.
Do I have to limit any activity after the treatment
It is important to walk regularly to encourage good circulation after you have had sclerotherapy. You should not participate in any strenuous activity for the initial days after your treatment.
How long is each sclerotherapy session?
The injection portion of each session takes on average only 15 to 30 minutes to complete, though this can vary depending on the size and extent of the treatment area.
Can anyone undergo sclerotherapy?
Nearly everyone with unsightly spider veins is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, individuals with skin infections, uncontrolled diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis, and those who are taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids should not have sclerotherapy. If you are unsure of your candidacy, consult our specialist for a personal evaluation.
Is there any preparation required before sclerotherapy?
There is no formal regimen for the preparation of sclerotherapy, although it is recommended that patients stop taking aspirin and smoking during the few days before the treatment.
What chemicals are used for sclerotherapy?
The most widespread substances used as sclering agents in sclerotherapy are polidocanol (aethoxysklerol), sodium tetradecyl sulfate, and saline solution at 11.7% concentration.