The Sclerotherapy Process
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of medications (sclerosing agents) into varicose veins which cause irritation of their inner walls resulting in collapse and permanent closure of these veins. The majority of varicose veins can be treated by sclerotherapy. Even the Saphenous veins may be removed by this method. Sclerotherapy is performed in the doctor’s office and does not require loss of time from work or other activities. It does not entail anesthesia and there is no scarring.
Before & After
What can I expect from Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy requires several treatment sessions, depending on your individual needs. Each session takes about one half-hour and involves a series of injections, according to the size and number of veins. Most patients find the injections minimally uncomfortable – like a pin prick. Bruising is normal and will fade in 2-3 weeks. There is no need for time off work and moderate exercise is encouraged following treatment. Following treatment, compression wraps and a compression stocking are applied which are worn continuously for 36 hours and then during the day, for 3-7 days, depending on the size of the vein treated.
Are there any Complications?
When larger veins are injected, it is fairly common to develop a firm, tender cord or lumps along the vein. This is normal and simply indicates the vein has responded to the injection. Occasionally, a brownish pigmentation may develop in the skin overlying a treated vein. This gradually fades over a period of several months, but in some instances, some discolouration remains. There are several rare but potentially serious complications. As with the use of any medication, allergic reactions can occur, ranging from a slight rash or itch to a severe systemic reaction. There have been occasional reports of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in the medical literature. It is remotely possible to inject an artery or infuse medication outside a vein. This can result in a skin ulcer or loss of tissue with resultant scarring. Transient visual disturbances have been reported following injections of foam sclerosants. Overall sclerotherapy is a safe procedure and serious complications are very rare.
Your First Visit
You will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about your vein problem and your general health. Following this, one of our physicians will perform a detailed vein examination that includes ultrasound vein mapping which will give a detailed picture as to the nature and extent of your vein problem. We will provide a detailed explanation of the examination findings and treatment options available to you.
Will the Varicose Veins Recur?
The veins treated by sclerotherapy are destroyed and cannot reappear again unless the treatment has been incomplete. However, sclerotherapy cannot alter your inherited tendency to form new varicosities and it is not uncommon for new varicosities to appear over time.
How will the Blood Circulate
Many patients ask how the blood will get back to the heart after the veins have been closed by sclerotherapy. In fact, 90% of our blood return is handled by the deep venous system, which is never treated. Only the superficial veins, which carry 10% of the blood, can become varicosed. Moreover, varicose veins are not functioning properly so the blood has already found other veins to circulate through.
For further information go to: www.phlebology.org/patient-information