Category: VEIN INSTITUTE Hits: 1608
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a microinjection procedure that needs no pain medication or surgery to treat varicose and spider veins. Abnormal veins are treated by injecting a solution called a sclerosant, sealing the vein off from the rest of the vein network in your leg, allowing the body to naturally redirect the blood flow to health veins. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. The body then initiates the natural healing process and the vein begins to shrink and gets naturally absorbed eventually disappearing. Sclerotherapy is a well-proven procedure and has been used since the 1930s.
How is sclerotherapy done?
Sclerotherapy is performed in a doctor’s office. The treatment area is cleansed. The solution is injected directly into the blood vessel, using very fine needles. The number of veins injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient’s overall medical condition.
How successful is sclerotherapy in treating varicose and spider veins?
Sclerotherapy works well for most patients. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent to 80 percent of injected veins may be eliminated with each injection session. A few (less than 10 percent) of the people who have sclerotherapy do not respond to the injections at all. In these instances, different solutions or a different method, such as laser therapy, may be tried.
In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months. If the veins respond to the treatment, usually they will not reappear. However, new veins may appear over time. If needed, you may return for injections.
How will I know if I am a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Before the procedure, you will have an initial consultation with a vascular specialist who will evaluate your eligibility for sclerotherapy. You are not eligible for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are bedridden. You must wait at least 3 months after delivery before you can be considered for this procedure. You can have sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, and will depend on the extremity and the cause of the clot. Veins that are potentially usable for future surgical bypass procedure (such as the saphenoous vein for coronary artery bypass graft surgery) will generally not be considered for injection, unless they are already deemed unusable.