Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.
After sclerotherapy, treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take a month or more to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be needed.
Treatment of Varicose Veins by Injection (Sclerotherapy)
Varicose veins are swollen, bluish-colored veins. This is a condition that often run in families or develops as a result of factors such as pregnancy, obesity or trauma.
In addition to being a cosmetic problem, varicose veins can also cause pain, itching and burning in the legs, particularly after being on your feet for long periods of time.
Veins carry blood from the body back to the heart. In the legs, healthy veins are equipped with special one-way valves that prevent the blood from flowing back "downhill." Varicose veins have incompetent valves, which do not completely close. This results in the pooling of blood in the legs and feet, producing varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy utilizes a solution, typically 23.4 percent sodium chloride mixed with Xylocaine, which is injected into the varicosity. The solution collapses the vessel, therapy sealing it off and eliminating the varicosity.
Sclerotherapy treatments are generally performed two to four weeks apart. The frequency and duration of treatments are based upon each individual patient's need.
Prior to treatment, noninvasive blood flow testing may be needed to determine the suitability of the veins for sclerotherapy.
Compressive stockings will be prescribed prior to beginning injection therapy. These stockings are fitted at a medical supply company, and are prescribed in a compression that is appropriate for you. Wearing someone else's support hose will not be beneficial. A list of suppliers for these stockings will be provided to you.
The stockings should be worn from 1-5 days before your first treatment. If they cause discomfort, do not wear them until the physician can check them for appropriate fit. Please be sure that you wear the hose to all subsequent appointments, as they are an important part of the sclerotherapy treatment.
You may want to bring shorts to wear for your sclerotherapy treatments.