Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy (USGST)
With this form of sclerotherapy, an ultrasound is required to assess and treat veins not visible on the skin surface with the naked eye. Using the “color flow” and “pulsed wave doppler” functions on the ultrasound, our physicians can determine the direction of flow within a vein and therefore whether or not the small valves within the vein are functioning properly. With this information, faulty veins can be identified and treated with greater precision.
Before & After
How many treatments are needed?
Depending on the size of the vein usually 1-3 treatment sessions are required per leg for good results.
What can I expect?
Discomfort from the injections is minimal for most patients. Treatment sessions take approximately 30 minutes to complete following which compression wraps and stockings are applied. These are worn continuously for 36 hours after treatment and then stockings only are worn during the day for 5 days. Our patients are instructed to walk for 15 minutes immediately after treatment and then 5-10 minutes 6 times per day for 7 days. Walking in the house or at work are perfectly acceptable. There should be no long car or plane rides for 2 weeks after treatment unless one is able to adhere to the walking schedule of 5-10 minutes 6 times per day.
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 reactions. 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.
What are the costs?
A limited number of varicose vein sclerotherapy treatments are covered by provincial health insurance if the treatment is considered medically necessary. The costs of ultrasound assessment, the sclerosant solution used, and compression stockings are not covered but may be picked up by some extended health insurance plans. It is best to check with your insurance carrier ahead of time to determine eligibility. Cosmetic treatments are not covered by insurance and are the responsibility of the patient. Please contact our office for pricing details as they can vary greatly depending on the extent of the treatment.
For further information go to: www.phlebology.org/patient-information