What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a technique utilizing a series of injections of a sclerosant medication into spider veins and minor varicose veins. The use of a sclerosant causes the vessel lining to become sticky and the two sides adhere to each other. This coming together of the vessel lining is further promoted through the use of external compression via taping cotton balls on to the procedure. The combination of the procedure and the recommendations following the treatment causes the blood supply to the specific vessel to be reduced significantly/completely. As a result of the vessel not receiving this blood supply the vessel is reabsorbed into the system through the healing process and the vein is not longer visible.
When should sclerotherapy be considered?
This treatment is recommended to patients that have symptomatic varicosities and/or cosmetic spider veins.
What are the advantages of sclerotherapy?
Using the sclerotherapy technique the treatment takes approximately 25 minutes, is performed in the office, and requires no time off from work. Surgical treatments (ligation or stripping) are necessary under certain situations. Accompanying surgical treatments are unsightly, painful scars, and time off from work.
Sclerotherapy can dramatically reduce large and small veins. Symptoms resulting from distended veins should disappear. Large varicose veins may require several injections along their path and some areas may need a series of injection sessions. As this treatment involves injections there is the potential for minor local inflammation to occur; usually discomfort is minimal. Bruising may last 3-4 weeks and brownish staining may occasionally last a few months. Support/compression stockings are recommended for 5-7 days following treatment. Serious but rare complications include phlebitis, infection, allergic reaction and skin ulcers.