Sclerotherapy Definition

Sclerotherapy treats veins not visible to the naked eye, veins that make too many twists and turns for standard endovenous ablation procedures. It also helps with spider vein removal.

Sclerotherapy is an office-based procedure that takes around 30 minutes to perform. You will be awake during the procedure. Problem veins are located using ultrasound. A tiny needle is inserted into the vein and sclerosing solution is injected.

Following the procedure you will wear a compression stocking for a short time. You can continue most normal activities immediately. We like you to keep active as part of the treatment.

Up to 80% of injected varicose veins may be eliminated with each injection session. As with all surgical procedures, there’s a small chance of complication associated with sclerotherapy.

Procedure Explanation

Sclerotherapy refers to a procedure that’s used to treat perforator veins. It’s particularly common in individuals who have varicose veins that are on the smaller side. When doctors perform these procedures, they inject solutions straight into designated veins. The injections trigger vessel lining irritation which in turn causes them to collapse. With the passing of some time, the vessels transform into scar tissue and essentially become invisible.

Procedure Basics

If you’re interested in the removal of conspicuous veins, this treatment should be done in a doctor’s clinic. After a medical professional properly cleans your treatment area, he or she will employ a fine needle to make the blood vessel injection. This procedure is effective in the majority of patients. Although uncommon, the procedure is ineffective in some patients, too. If it turns out that the procedure doesn’t work to get rid of your spider veins, then you might want to talk to a doctor about getting an alternative procedure. Laser therapy is just one such option.

The physician will first take a medical history and visually examine the problem veins. The patient will then lie down on an examining table, and the physician will numb the area with a topical anesthetic. A thin needle is then used to inject the compound into the vein to close it off. Your physician will determine how many veins can be treated at one time. The procedure generally takes between 30 to 60 minutes.

Results Time Frame

Veins typically require several weeks to fade post-procedure. In some cases, veins require a full month to go away completely. It is also possible that a patient needs to get multiple procedures to achieve their desired outcomes. It always depends on the specific situation of the patient. If your veins go away after this procedure, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever show up again. However, it is possible for new veins to emerge with time.

After the Procedure

Anesthesia isn’t necessary for sclerotherapy. People who receive this medical procedure generally are all done in one-hour maximum. The entire process takes only 30 to 45 minutes. Once your procedure is done and you’re ready to leave, you will be able to drive and continue with typical, moderate day-to-day activities. You will be required to wear support hosiery after the procedure to compress the treated veins. Generally, patients can return to normal activities. Minor discomfort from the procedure can be relieved with acetaminophen.

How Does Sclerotherapy Work To Help My Veins?

Vein problems usually develop for individuals in their 30s, but it can begin at an even younger age. You may notice clusters of tiny, reddish veins on the surface of the skin or larger, bulging veins in the lower leg. These vein problems can be repaired to provide a better appearance.

The human circulatory system is a marvel of engineering that brings oxygenated blood from the heart through the arteries and back again. After the oxygen has been removed, the blood travels through the veins and back to the heart. In some cases, the veins may become weakened from this constant use, and they may develop discolorations on the surface or visible enlargement that can cause discomfort. These enlarged veins can cause self-consciousness and embarrassment. However, sclerotherapy is a fast and inexpensive way to remove these unsightly vein problems.

Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat problem veins that uses caustic compounds that close off damaged veins, allowing nearby, healthier veins to take over the job of carrying blood back to the heart. It is a generally safe procedure that takes a short amount of time and is very inexpensive. As a result, many individuals choose this procedure to treat their problem veins.

What Conditions Can Sclerotherapy Help?

Problems veins can be caused by heredity, long hours on your feet, hormonal changes, obesity and wearing tight garments that constrict areas of the body. Sclerotherapy can help:

  1. Spider Veins – Spider veins are those thin, red, blue or purple surface veins you see on the surface of your legs, thighs and ankles. Sometimes, they are even found on the face.
  2. Varicose Veins – Varicose veins are larger, bluish or purple veins that have a gnarled or knotted appearance on the skin surface. These enlarged veins can cause burning, aching or throbbing in the legs.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?

If you are pregnant, you should not have the sclerotherapy procedure. The additional weight and fluid retention can create varicose veins during pregnancy. You can schedule your procedure before you become pregnant or wait until you deliver your child to ensure that the sclerotherapy procedure will produce good results. Patients who have had problems with blood clotting may need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have veins problems, contact our office to discuss whether sclerotherapy can help you.

What are the Risks?

All medical procedures have certain risks associated with them. Sclerotherapy is considered a very safe therapy for your veins. With a well trained and experienced physician, the patient is exposed to minimal risk. The risks are higher for patients with a history of medical problems such as hypertension, heart conditions, and diabetes. Usually, it is recommended that this procedure is not performed on people with these illnesses. Although women can develop varicose veins during pregnancy, sclerotherapy is also not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. There are a few risks associated with this procedure, including:

  • Skin discoloration. This most common side effect may take six months to a year to disappear. For some patients, it does not disappear.
  • Itching, blistering, and pain may occur in the area.
  • Scarring in the area.
  • Blood clots or damage to the deep vein system.
  • Anaphylaxis (mild or severe) may be a reaction to the sclerosant. Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction. It affects the entire body. The symptoms include itching, hives, and a decrease in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, shock, and loss of consciousness. When symptoms quickly occur after exposure to an allergen, the more severe the reaction will probably be.

Some sclerosant solutions used in sclerotherapy include Glycerin, Hypertonic Saline, and Polidocanol.

What is the Long-term Success Rate?

Several factors determine how long the results will remain:

  • Underlying condition. When you have Venous Reflux Disease, which is the backward flow of blood due to vein valves not closing properly, the therapy will more than likely be temporary.
  • Family history. Many people are genetically prone to problems with their veins. Once these blood vessels close, usually they do not reopen. However, over time new varicosities can occur.
  • Hormonal changes. During pregnancy, increased blood volume and hormonal changes worsen varicose and spider veins. Each subsequent pregnancy affects the veins more. Also, hormones during puberty, and menopause, as well as birth control pills affect the condition.
  • Postural habits. If you sit down or stand for extended periods of time without intervals of moving around to assist the circulation in your legs, varicosities can develop.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise and maintaining your ideal weight is helpful to your blood flow.

Venous disease is progressive and may not be entirely preventable. Treatment with sclerotherapy, however, is successful for about 80 percent of the people who undergo the procedure.

To see if this procedure is right for you or to answer specific questions you have, please contact Red Sands Vein and Laser at 435-673-2301