Small varicose veins and Spider veins are treated by sclerotherapy. A tiny needle is used to administer a series of injections that contain small amounts of a sterile solution into the vein. Because the needle is so small, patients do not need any anaesthesia and usually feel little pain. The solution displaces the blood within the diseased vein and causes the vein to collapse. The treated vein is absorbed and eventually becomes nearly invisible.
Although the same vein may require multiple injections over time, this injection procedure for each session can be performed in our clinic in less than 30 minutes. The total number of veins treated during one session will depend on the size and location of the veins as well as the overall medical health of the patient. Any follow up sessions will be scheduled at least four weeks apart so that the results of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated.
Micro-sclerotherapy is a form of treatment where a doctor injects medicine into blood vessels or lymph vessels that causes them to shrink. It is commonly used to treat varicose veins or so-called spider veins. The procedure is non-surgical, requiring only an injection. It can also be used to treat blood and lymph vessel disorders that cause these vessels to form incorrectly. Sclerotherapy uses an irritating solution called a sclerosant, which is injected directly into a vein or lymph vessel. The solution irritates the vessel, causing it to swell. This swelling cuts off the flow of blood or lymphatic fluid and the vessel shrinks. Various forms trusted source of sclerotherapy have been around since the 19th century, but techniques have improved in recent decades.
What conditions does Micro-sclerotherapy treat?
Sclerotherapy is most often used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are also known as chronic venous insufficiency. Varicose veins occur when the veins swell and bulge, usually in the legs. This is due to weak vein walls that, in turn, weaken the vein valves. As a result, blood pools up the veins, causing them to swell and look different. Varicose veins may be painful and can cause skin issues, including rashes. By shrinking the veins, sclerotherapy reduces the effects of vein damage, making varicose veins less visible and less painful.
Micro-sclerotherapy is also used to treat some other conditions, including:
- Malformed Lymph Vessels. These are vessels that carry lymphatic fluid or lymph, which helps the immune system fight infections.
- Hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy may be used when other treatments fail. Hemorrhoids occur when blood vessels, surrounding the rectum, swell and become irritated, causing pain and making bowel movements uncomfortable.
- Hydrocele. A hydrocele is an unhealthy development of fluid in a body cavity. Hydroceles are common in the testicles.
When to consider Micro-sclerotherapy?
Not everyone who has spider veins or another condition that can be treated with sclerotherapy needs to have the procedure. People should discuss their symptoms and treatment options with their doctor to decide if it is necessary.
Other treatments may be more affordable and less invasive. Hemorrhoids, for example, often respond well to nonprescription treatments. This can include lifestyle changes, such as eating more fiber and not straining when having a bowel movement.
People with spider veins should consider Micro-sclerotherapy when:
- The veins are painful
- The legs are sore or feel heavy
- The skin on the legs or feet is patchy or dry
- There is a rash near the veins
What to expect from Micro-sclerotherapy?
- Sclerotherapy may be performed in the office of a dermatologist.
- Sclerotherapy requires a consultation with a doctor to assess the problematic vein or lymph vessel.
- Sclerotherapy for spider veins is usually performed in the office of a dermatologist or a vein specialist.
- The procedure does not usually require anesthesia or any special preparation.
- People should follow the doctor’s instructions before surgery since it might be necessary to avoid lotions or oils beforehand.
- During the treatment, the person lies on their back with their legs up. A doctor cleans the area, then inserts a small needle into the vein.
- The needle may pinch.
- The doctor injects the vein with an irritating solution.
- The individual may feel burning, tingling, or nothing at all. When the injection is complete, the doctor will massage the area to prevent blood from re-entering the vein.
- The individual may need to wear a pad or compression stockings in the area.
- In most cases Trust Source, someone will need follow-up treatment to collapse a vein fully.
- If there are several varicose veins, numerous treatments may be the only way to get rid of them.
- After the treatment, people should remain active to prevent blood clots from forming.
- Most will also need to avoid sunlight, which can cause dark spots on the treated area.
- Some people experience tenderness or bruising at the site of the injection, but recovery is otherwise relatively easy.
How long do Micro-sclerotherapy results last?
In most cases, they disappear within three to six months, but can be permanent about five percent of the time. Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks. In general, spider veins respond to sclerotherapy in three to six weeks, and larger veins respond in three to four months.
Is Micro-sclerotherapy safe?
All medical procedures have risks that should be considered carefully prior to embarking on a particular treatment. Since sclerotherapy is frequently used to treat cosmetic problems, untoward and dangerous side effects ought to be fully explained to the patient.
Does Micro-sclerotherapy hurt?
Because this procedure requires injections through the skin, it is not a painless procedure. Some chemicals that are injected (sclerosants) are more likely to cause pain than others. If the sclerosant is deposited outside the vein inadvertently, this is often more painful.
Is Micro-sclerotherapy an effective treatment for varicose veins and spider veins?
Sclerotherapy is an effective technique to obliterate or collapse veins. Other techniques include surgical removal of the offending vein, endovenous laser destruction (fiberoptic-transmitted laser light) and, for very small vessels, percutaneous laser light or intense pulsed-light exposure are also effective.
Who is a good candidate for Micro-sclerotherapy?
Those with venous insufficiency who have disease that is poorly controlled with compression stockings and who are not obese are ideal candidates for sclerotherapy. To determine if sclerotherapy obliteration is likely to be of benefit, the site of the defective vein is identified as well as the venous drainage pattern. Healthy people who complain of unsightly superficial veins of small caliber (4 mm or less) are also candidates for sclerotherapy.
How do people prepare for the Micro-sclerotherapy procedure?
Patients are screened using special ultrasound techniques to determine the site of venous disease prior to treatment. In situations where there is only a small area of spider veins, this is rarely done.
How does a doctor administer Micro-sclerotherapy injections?
There are now two FDA-approved sclerosants available, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a detergent) and polidocanol (Asclera). For small veins, hypertonic saline is occasionally used. Depending on the size of the vein to be treated, the sclerosant may be administered as foam. A needle of the appropriate caliber is inserted into the vessel to be treated, and the chemical is injected.
What is the recovery time for Micro-sclerotherapy?
This is an outpatient procedure and the patient leaves the office on the same day of treatment.
What aftercare is needed following a Micro-sclerotherapy procedure?
Patients should wear compression dressings for one to three weeks after treatment. A follow-up visit within two weeks to enable the evacuation of blood clots in larger veins can improve the prognosis and the appearance.
What are the benefits of Micro-sclerotherapy?
For patients with venous insufficiency, treatment can be beneficial by improving venous blood flow and limiting chronic swelling. For those with cosmetic complaints, their appearance can be improved.
What are risks, side effects, and complications of Micro-sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy risks, side effects, and complications include hyperpigmentation, temporary swelling, capillary dilation (telangiectatic matting), painfrom the injection, localized hives, tape compression blister, tape compression folliculitis, and recurrence, vasovagal reflex, localized hair growth (hirsutism), skin death (cutaneous necrosis), allergic reaction, superficial , arterial injection thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, nerve damage, and migraine headaches.
Does insurance cover the cost of Micro-sclerotherapy?
Although insurance companies differ in their coverage and preapproval is always helpful, the treatment of venous insufficiency is usually covered for NHS patients. The treatment of cosmetic problems including spider veins is rarely covered at private cosmetic clinics.
Micro-slerotherapy Pre-Treatment Advice
- Client should have their compression stockings with them or purchase a new pair at their appintment as these must be worn immediately post treatment. (compression plaster also will be applied immediately post treatment).
- Legs should be free from oil, lotions and powders.
- Loose clothing should be worn on the day of treatment.
- Aspirin or Ibuprofen should not be taken days before or post procedure to reduce the occurance of bruising. Paracetamol is ok to take.
- Client should arrive minutes prior to the treatment to fill in all relevant forms.
Micro-sclerotherapy Aftercare Advice
- Compression stockings should be worn 24 hours a day or a minimum of 7 days.
- Avoid hot baths, whirlpools, saunas and swimming for 48 hours.
- Avoid direct sunlight for 2 weeks.
- Showers are allowed but these should be cooler than usual.
- Treated area can be whashed with mild soap and water.
- Driving is fine post procedure and normal every day duties may be resumed.
- A 15 minutes walk is recommended immediately after treatment. if you are sitting or standing for long periods of time take regular breaks to walk or move your ankles for at least 10 minutes.
- Avoid Aspirin and Ibuprofen for at least 10 days post treatment.
- A follow up appointment is required 6 weeks post treatment.
In rare cases complications may occure.
Should a vein rupture and start to bleed, apply compression immediately and rise your legs, medical assistance should be sough straigh away.
Other side effects that need medical attention include:
- Inflammation within 5 inches of the groin.
- Sudden swelling of the leg(s).
- Formation of ulcers at the site of injection.
Single Session (30min)
Additional Session (30min)