#Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. It's often considered the treatment of choice for small #varicose #veins, #spiderveins. It offers both cosmetic and medical benefits, causing diseased veins to close, collapse, and fade from view. Sclerotherapy is also performed to treat venous malformations and lymphatic malformations.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution destroys the inner lining of the vein and causes the vein to scar, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.
The treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks after sclerotherapy, although occasionally it may take months or more to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatment sessions may be needed.
Sclerotherapy procedure is often done for:
Cosmetic purposes — to improve the appearance of varicose and spider veins.
The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as:
· Night cramps
If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, it is advisable to wait to have sclerotherapy done.
Sclerotherapy is typically done in your doctor's office and doesn't require anesthesia. It generally takes less than an hour to complete.
Any procedure has a potential for complications. It is advisable to bring someone responsible along with you during the procedure.
Sclerotherapy is a fairly safe procedure with few complications.
In the immediate aftermath of the injections, patients can experience localized pain, temporary swelling, capillary dilation, localized hives, tape compression blisters, and tape compression folliculitis.
Temporary side effects
Some side effects that may occur at the site of the injection include:
· Raised red areas
· Small skin sores
· Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
· Multiple tiny red blood vessels, reddish /reddish green matting of the treated area
· Discoloration and hyperpigmentation
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks. Some side effects can take months or even years to disappear completely.
Adhering to doctor’s orders regarding sunlight exposure and exercise restrictions can help to combat many side effects. The proper use of compression stockings can also limit and/or eliminate these issues.
Side effects that may require treatment
Other complications are less common but may require treatment. These include:
Inflammation. This is usually mild but may cause swelling, warmth and discomfort around the injection site. We may have to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the inflammation.
Very rarely the skin over the treated area may get severly inflamed and could ulcerate.
Blood clot. A lump of clotted blood may form in a treated vein that may require drainage. Rarely, a blood clot may travel to a deeper vein in your leg (deep vein thrombosis).
Deep vein thrombosis carries a risk of pulmonary embolism (a very rare complication of sclerotherapy), an emergency situation where the clot travels from your leg to your lungs and blocks a vital artery going to the lungs. Seek immediate medical care if you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain or dizziness, or you cough up blood.
Air bubbles. Tiny air bubbles may rise in your bloodstream. These don't always cause symptoms, but if they do, symptoms include visual disturbances, headache, fainting and nausea. These symptoms generally go away, but call your doctor if you experience problems with limb movement or sensation after the procedure.
Discoloration and hyperpigmentation : sometimes the discoloration and hyperpigmentation could last longer than expected and may require treatment.
Allergic reaction. It's possible that you may have an allergic reaction to the solution used for treatment, but this is uncommon. Some allergies and anaphylactic reactions can be life threatening and fatal.
For small varicose veins or spider veins, we usually expect to see definitive results in three to six weeks. Larger veins may require more time which could be three to four months. However, multiple treatment sessions may be needed to achieve desired results.
Sometimes getting desired results may take about 8 to 12 months too. It is very important to have patience while undergoing this treatment.
Veins that respond to treatment generally don't come back, but new veins may appear.
Follow up is usually scheduled after three to four weeks after the procedure to check the procedure's success and decide if further sessions are needed. Generally, you need to wait about four to six weeks before undergoing another sclerotherapy session.
Studies of #sclerotherapy as a treatment for varicose and spider veins indicate that it has an overall success rate of about 60 to 80 percent in eliminating treated veins.