Sclerotherapy is used to treat small, isolated varicose veins and spider veins. It involves injecting the veins with a sclerosing solution, at this practice we use a strong salt solution (sodium chloride 20%). The solution irritates the lining of the vein causing it to become sticky and swell. Compression pushes the walls of the vein together so that it is sealed off. The treated veins eventually face over a period of 6 weeks becoming barely visible at all. Cosmetic perfection is not realistically attainable but after several treatments there is usually up to an 80% improvement in the appearance of the legs depending on the severity of the problem. Treatment may relieve any symptoms caused by the veins.
Preparing for sclerotherapy
Do not use moisturiser for 2 days prior to treatment. If you have TED stockings bring them with you. If not, you will be measured for a pair on the day. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes or sandals. Allow 45 mins for the appointment and a further 30 minutes for walk immediately following the appointment.
Procedure of Sclerotherapy
Prior to commencing the injections, we will discuss which veins will be treated and the expected realistic outcomes of the treatment. Usually only one leg is treated in the session. Once the veins have been injected, they are covered with a gauze dressing and tape. When the procedure is finished the leg is bandaged and a compression (TED) stocking is put on. A review appointment is made for 2 weeks post treatment.
Care after treatment
Walk immediately after the treatment for 30 mins and then everyday (not including walking around the house or work) for 7 days. Leave the stockings and dressings on for 3 days.
Do the injections hurt?
The amount of discomfort depends on the individual. The needle is very fine so causes minimal discomfort. The injected solution can sting for short periods of time. The sensation can be likened to an ant bite.
Why is only one leg treated per session?
The session is 45 min, usually all of this time is required to treat one led especially in the first treatment. As there is some discomfort experienced during the treatment most people prefer to return the next day or week for the other led to be treated. Depending on the number of veins to be treated if its possible to complete both legs in one session this will be considered. For subsequent treatments as there are less veins to be injected both legs may be done on the one appointment.