Sclerotherapy Treatment for Spider and Varicose Veins
SCLEROTHERAPY

Sclerotherapy is the use of an injection technique to treat a vein and can be used in reference to injecting veins anywhere on the body. Whilst sclerotherapy has been used to treat bleeding veins in the oesophagus (oesophageal varices), for shrinking haemorrhoids and for treating veins on the chest and arms, the commonest use by far is in the treatment of leg veins.

Both small spider veins and large Varicose Veins can be treated by sclerotherapy and leg veins can be targeted both on the surface of the skin or deep below the surface. The term sclerotherapy is derived from ‘skleros’ which in Greek means hard and has come about because after a vein is injected the vein seals off and goes hard before the body breaks it down.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

How is Sclerotherapy performed?

Sclerotherapy is a walk-in walk out office procedure performed in the clinic rooms. No anaesthetic is required and normal activity and work can be resumed immediately afterwards. The treatment takes about 30 minutes and involves multiple small injections. A stocking is usually required after treatment and a walk for 20-30 minutes after treatment is usually recommended.

How does Sclerotherapy work?

Essentially a needle is inserted into a vein and a small amount of a solution (which is called a Sclerosant) is injected into the vein. The solution is salt based and causes damage to the inside of the vein causing the vein to collapse and seal off. The body then breaks down the sealed off (sclerosed) vein in much the same way that the body breaks down and removes bruises.

DVT & VARICOSE VEINS

Endovenous thermal ablation, also called laser therapy, is a newer technique that uses a laser or high-frequency radio waves to create intense local heat in the varicose vein or incompetent vein.

Heat is directed through a catheter to close-up the targeted vessel. This treatment closes off the problem veins but leaves them in place so there is minimal bleeding and bruising.

Compared with ligation and stripping, many patients find that endovenous thermal ablation results in less pain and a faster return to normal activities, with similar cosmetic results.

Laser Therapy

Why is this procedure performed? Why do I need this procedure?

The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of complications from venous disease, including blood clots.

Patients who have large, symptomatic varicose veins and those with incompetent saphenous veins are candidates for this procedure. This procedure is essentially taking the place of “vein stripping.”

Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient’s circumstances.

What happens during the procedure?

You will receive a sedative and a regional anesthesia, or you may receive general anesthesia. Using an ultrasound to identify the location, your surgeon will insert a catheter into the vein to be treated. This is typically done just below the knee but can occasionally be done at the level of the ankle. Using ultrasound, the surgeon will inject a solution of salt water and anesthetic agent along the length of the vein to be treated. Following this, either laser or radiofrequency ablation will be performed.

How long does the procedure last?

The procedure itself generally takes two to three hours. This procedure is typically performed in the outpatient setting, and you can expect to be discharged home several hours after the procedure is complete. Full recovery will take approximately one to two weeks.

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