Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy treatment for varicose veins - swollen veins
Sclerotherapy as a term comes from the Greek word “sclero”: to make hard. It is a treatment option for varicose disease in the lower limbs, used to treat bulging veins (varicose veins), caused by malformations of the blood vessels due to venous insufficiency or venous reflux.
Sclerosing makes the lining of the affected veins collapse and harden, and they then seal off and are sometimes later resorbed by the body.
Sclerotherapy in more detail
This type of vein treatment involves injecting the sclerosing solution into the vein, using a very fine needle. It may cause a pin prick sensation with some mild discomfort and cramping. The injected solution irritates the lining of the vein, so it swells and sticks together. Over time, the venous blemishes turn into scar tissue and may disappear.
At The Vein Clinic we offer various types of sclerotherapy treatments for veins:
Direct vision sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. It’s not uncommon that patients have had less than pleasing long-term results with previous sclerotherapy treatments.
This is why at The Vein Clinic, we will first investigate the status of your underlying veins. Once feeder veins have been eliminated, we move on to surface direct vision sclerotherapy.
It’s important to understand that complete elimination and a perfect cosmetic result is rarely achieved. Realistically a 50-90% improvement in appearance can be anticipated following a series of treatments. This is due to the fact that surface veins are often numerous, have multiple feeders and are extremely small. On average 2- 3 treatment sessions are required at approximately 4 weekly intervals.
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy uses foam instead of traditional liquids to affect the lining of the vein walls. The sclerotherapy liquid is mixed with gas to form foam, and this foam displaces the blood, improving contact of the agent with the vein wall, making the treatment more efficient. Nearly all clinics offering foam sclerotherapy use room air to produce foam. In patients with a history of migraine, nitrogen may pass into the brain and cause temporary visual disturbance or in the worst case stroke !. At The Vein Clinic we use a “nitrogen free foam” to greatly reduce the risk of foam sclerotherapy.
What to expect with sclerotherapy?
Your doctor will decide on the number of veins treated in one sclerotherapy session, based on the size and the location of the veins. The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Your first and second treatment will be performed at an interval of two weeks, and the response to the therapy will be assessed after a month.
Sclerotherapy slowly clears the veins of your leg. Depending on the size of the blood vessel, the problem is completely resolved in two to six months.
Sclerotherapy may cause side effects such as itching, bruising, the appearance of brown lines, inflammation or the appearance of new blood vessels at the site of injection. If the solution is injected into larger veins, they may become hard and lumpy, and these side effects can be treated with a blood release. If you notice any inflammation sudden onset of swelling in your leg, or ulcers at the site of the injection, we recommend that you contact your doctor immediately.
Sclerotherapy vein treatment does not require hospitalisation, and your recovery time is minimal. You do however need to wear compression stockings and walk daily, to promote blood flow and to prevent thrombosis and pigmentation.
Why choose The Vein Clinic?
Sclerotherapy requires accurate and safe placement of the sclerosant material. If an injection is performed into an artery rather than the vein, serious consequences can occur. Injecting small veins accurately, under ultrasound guidance, is a skill that takes year to perfect. Dr Luke Matar at the Perth Vein Clinic has over 20 years experience in performing ultrasound guided injections. He takes great care and pride in the accuracy of his treatments.
If you want more information about any type of sclerotherapy, contact The Vein Clinic today.