About Sclerotherapy Treatment and What it Could Mean for You

Posted in General on April 26, 2019

Sclerotherapy is a treatment that is used to treat varicose and spider veins. Most of the time, it’s chosen as the treatment for smaller size varicose veins and spider veins.

How it Works

The procedure involves injection of a solution into the diseased vein, which causes the vein to seal and then slowly scar. The small amount of blood within the treated vein naturally reroutes to surrounding healthy veins. The treated vein slowly contracts, gets reabsorbed into the surrounding tissues and slowly fades. The healing process typically takes a few weeks, although there are times when it can take longer to realize final results. Sometimes, multiple sclerotherapy treatments are needed.

Sclerotherapy can be performed to help relieve symptoms of pain, tenderness, tingling and burning caused by varicose or spider veins.  Sclerotherapy can also be used purely for cosmetic reasons – to improve the visible appearance of veins that are present at the skin surface. The ability of this procedure to improve low-grade symptoms and improve the cosmetic appearance of the leg allows “two birds to be killed with one stone”!

Methods of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy can be performed using one of several different types of medicine,  including hypertonic saline, Asclera (polidocanol), glycerin and STS (sodium tetradecyl sulphate). Dr. Ford primarily uses polidocanol (Asclera) as his preferred form of treatment, as this product is FDA approved, and he believes it to be the most effective and versatile product, with the fastest recovery time. To best determine how Asclera might work for you, fill out a contact form today and schedule your consultation.

Side Effects

Potential mild side effects of sclerotherapy include bruising, red bumps, small sores, skin that appears temporarily darkened, and additional tiny red blood vessels. Though they seem unsightly, these typically go away in two to six weeks.

Inflammation is a normal yet longer lasting side effect. Once the procedure is done, discomfort and even warmth around the site of the injection can occur. On extremely rare occasions, blood clots in the deep veins have been known to form.

There is also a slight chance that you may have an allergic reaction to polidocanol, however, this is very uncommon.

Preparation

At your initial consultation you should anticipate the following;

  • Review of any symptoms
  • Review of your medical history
  • Review of any current medications
  • Review of any allergies
  • Physical examination of the concerning area

The days leading up to your appointment, it’s good to avoid excessive lotion, alcohol consumption, or any vigorous activity.

What to Expect

While the positive effects of sclerotherapy are long-lasting, the procedure itself is fairly simple and can be done in under 30 minutes.  These procedures are performed at the doctor’s premises and don’t require a different surgery center. Expect to lie on your back with legs elevated just a little bit. Once the area is cleaned with alcohol, the surgeon will use a very small needle to inject the solution into the affected vein or veins. Although not normally necessary topical local anesthetics medicines can be applied to the skin to make the procedure more comfortable.

Although the polidocanol (Asclera) solution is normally a liquid, there is a foam version of polidocanol called Varithena. Ask your doctor which one might be right for you. The foam is generally used for larger veins because it covers more surface volume than the liquid does.

It’s best to keep in mind that the number of injections a patient receives is heavily dependent on the size and number of veins that will receive treatment. No two patient’s experiences are the same, so you might need three sclerotherapy session where a friend may have only needed one.

Quick Recovery

You will be walking soon after your procedure, and this will be very important so that you can help prevent blood clots forming. Most patients return to normal day-to-day activities on the same day as their treatment. You should budget on  avoiding strenuous exercise for one week after the procedure.

If you require multiple sclerotherapy sessions the optimal timing of repeat treatments is variable and is typically individualized. If you have multiple extensive spider veins (or small varicose veins) additional treatments can often be scheduled shortly after the initial treatment. If “re-treatment” of a localized area is required these re-treatments are typically spaced at least six weeks apart to allow time for healing between treatments.

 

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