Foam sclerotherapy involves the injection of a foam substance directly into the vein. The foam injures the blood vessels and causes it to narrow. Blood will then flow to a better vein and the treated vein will disappear on its own. Varicose veins are veins that are swollen and twisted. They are commonly found in the legs. Varicose veins occur when the small valves within the blood vessels or the muscles around the blood vessels malfunction. This can be caused by abnormalities of the veins or of the valves in the veins or due to certain conditions, such as post-thrombotic syndrome or Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. Risk factors for varicose veins include pregnancy, excessive body weight, age, sex, standing for long periods, and/or injury to the blood vessels.
Sclerotherapy is often done for: Cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of varicose and spider veins The procedure can also improve related symptoms such as: -Aching -Swelling -Burning -Night cramps
-The procedure is highly effective in reducing or eliminating unsightly varicose veins, reticular veins or spider veins. Patients are mostly happy with the results and feel better about themselves, and that’s one of the most important benefits.
-Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure. No hospitalization is required, making sclerotherapy a very affordable, painless and convenient procedure. A sclerotherapy injection can be performed in a vein specialist’s office, and results are readily visible. The procedure is usually completed in 15 to 20 minutes, and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately.
-While most cases of spider veins are indeed a cosmetic problem, in some patients they can cause aching and pain in the affected limbs. Sclerotherapy can relieve these symptoms.
-The most common negative reactions to sclerotherapy include bruising, redness, and pain near the injected vein. About a third of people develop small branches of blood vessels surrounding the injected vein. These vessels usually disappear on their own.
-Less frequently, an individual may experience allergic reactions to the solution, burning in the vein, and changes to skin color.
-More clinic attendance’s required than for surgical treatment (usually 3-4 appointments if both legs are treated). A few months is required for final outcome to be obtained with resolution of all bruising and uncomfortable lumpiness.)
Anesthesia is not usually used during foam sclerotherapy as discomfort is minimal, but if the vein is quite large, the doctor may use a small amount of local anesthetic to make you comfortable. Ultrasound is used to visualize the affected vein. A needle is inserted into the vein and the foam is injected. The doctor will watch the progress of the foam into the blood vessel via ultrasound. Multiple injections may be needed to make sure the vein is completely filled. The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes and a firm bandage will be applied to the leg to keep the veins compressed (so they are not filled with blood when you stand up).
You will need to be evaluated prior to your treatment.This includes a number of tests including a physical exam and ultrasound scans.: Doppler ultrasound is a medical device that can detect blood flow. This will provide your doctor with information regarding the direction of blood flow in your veins and whether your valves are working perfectly. An duplex ultrasound scan enables your doctor to examine your deep veins more closely. Duplex ultrasound can be used to: 1. Map the venous system of the leg and measure vein diameter 2. Detect reflux in superficial and deep veins 3. Detect occlusion in superficial and deep veins (thrombosis or sclerosis) Before your doctor performs sclerotherapy, he will subject you to a thorough exam. It is critical for your doctor to distinguish between spider veins and large varicose veins, and spider veins and spider angiomas. Because sclerotherapy can only treat superficial small veins, the doctor must ensure that you must have no other more severe vein disease. Spider angiomas are similar to spider veins but occur in arteries and have a different underlying disease.
The bandage will be worn for about a week, followed by a compression stocking for the next week. You can return to normal activities immediately.
Blood clots in other veins. Inflammation. Air bubbles. Allergic reaction. Skin discoloration.
Do I have any travel restrictions regarding this procedure?
At your follow-up appointment, you will undergo a physical examination and your wound will be checked. You will receive documentation regarding your treatment history and a “fit to fly” certificate (if needed). If you plan to travel after the procedure, please discuss this with your doctor before making travel arrangements. There are no air travel restrictions with this procedure. When traveling by air, please wear compression stockings to prevent thrombosis.
What are the areas in which sclerotherapy may be used to treat?
The most common areas for varicose veins to develop are on your legs and feet. The affected veins may be raised, discolored, or swollen, and some are deeper under the skin and can cause discomfort. Spider veins are smaller in size, closer to the surface of the skin, and can appear red, purple, or blue. More rarely, sclerotherapy may be used to treat hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy for the treatment of hemorrhoids is typically used when the hemorrhoids are smaller and external. It can also be used when the hemorrhoids bleed or when you can’t risk a surgical procedure such as a hemorrhoidectomy due to other health concerns. Depending on the size of the damaged veins, sclerotherapy can be used to treat varicose and spider veins in the following areas: -thighs -calves -ankles -feet -face (frequently the sides of the nose)
How long does it take for the veins to disappear?
It depends on many factors, including the technique of injection, the type, and strength of the solution used in sclerotherapy, the density and thickness of the vessels in a given area, as well as the skin complexion of the patient. In our experience, most spider veins disappear between 2 weeks and two months. Reticular veins may require more than one session to disappear.
How long are sclerotherapy sessions?
The initial treatment session can take several hours, but is usually less. The physician will want to observe how you react to the injections. Nevertheless, most people have multiple varicose veins and spider veins that will require several sessions. During each session, there is a limit of 10-20 injections. So, many patients will need 2 or 3 sessions over several weeks.