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Injection Sclerotherapy for Reticular Veins

What is sclerotherapy?

  • Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins.
  • Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein.
  • The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and stick together and the blood to clot.
  • Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
  • Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure that has been in use since the 1930s.
  • Women patients are not eligible if pregnant. Women on birth control bills are eligible though.
  • Patients with heart conditions should consider using the veins in future for heart bypass &surgery will generally not be considered for sclerotherapy, unless they are already deemed unusable.
  • In most cases of sclerotherapy, is done by injecting the salt solution through a very fine needle directly into the vein.
  • Patient should expect to experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected.
  • The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes, & it requires that patient do not do any aerobic activity for a few days after the procedure.
  • The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient.

Preparation:

Prior to sclerotherapy, patients will be instructed to avoid certain medications. Patients should talk to the doctor about all medicines (including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements) they are taking.


Side effects:

  • Certain side effects after sclerotherapy are expected. There are milder effects, such as itching, which can last for one or two days after the procedure.
  • Also, patient may experience raised, red areas at the injection site and they should disappear within a few days.
  • Bruising may also occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks.
  • Larger veins that have been injected may become lumpy and hard and may require several months to dissolve and fade.
  • Brown lines or spots may appear at the vein site. In most cases, they disappear within three to six months, but they may also last indefinitely.

Recovery:

  • After sclerotherapy patients will be able to drive himself home and resume their regular daily activities & walking is encouraged.
  • Patients will be instructed to wear support hosiery to "compress" the treated vessels.
  • If you have compression hosiery from previous treatments, you are encouraged to bring them with you to be certain they still have adequate compression.
  • Also, patients should avoid the following for 48 hours after treatment: Hot baths Hot compresses Whirlpools or saunas Direct exposure to sunlight.
  • Showers are permitted, but the water should be cooler than usual. The injection sites may be washed with a mild soap and tepid water.

Prognosis:

  • Sclerotherapy Effectiveness Studies have shown that as many as 50%-80% of injected veins may be eliminated with each session of sclerotherapy.
  • Less than 10% of the people who have sclerotherapy do not respond to the injections at all. In these instances, different solutions can be tried.
  • In general, spider veins respond in three to six weeks, and larger veins respond in three to four months.
  • If the veins respond to the treatment, they will not reappear.

Foam Injection sclerotherapy for reticular veins Sometimes a foam version of the solution may be used, particularly when a larger vein is involved.

Foam tends to cover more surface area than liquid.


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