Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy

Duration:
45 minutes

Advantage:
Highly effective for small to medium size veins

Disadvantage:
Need to wear bandage

Invasiveness:
Minimal

Pain:
Minimal Discomfort

Cost:
From €200
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

What is sclerotherapy?
This is a procedure whereby a special chemical is injected into the tiny violet veins and the slightly larger blue veins on the legs and thighs. This chemical reacts with the veins to ‘glue’ the insides together and clot the blood in them . The vein closes down and the body clears the broken down vein over the next few weeks.

What symptoms can be improved with sclerotherapy?
The most common reason for seeking to remove spider veins is to improve the appearance. However these veins can also cause symptoms such as pain, bruising or itching, night cramps and tiredness of the legs. Sclerotherapy may help to improve all these symptoms.

How is the procedure done? Is it painful?
The chemical is injected along the vein at different points with the person lying down. Very fine needles are used, and the chemical itself has an anaesthetic effect so the procedure is practically painless. Only a slight pinching sensation may be felt for a few seconds after injection. The procedure lasts for 45 to 60 minutes. The person is awake throughout, and can walk away straight after.

Are there any precautions I need to take before and after the procedure?
A consultation with the resident doctor at estetika is necessary to identify which spider veins can be treated and if any other alternative treatments can be used. It may be necessary to perform an ultrasound examination of the leg veins if deeper problems are suspected. It is also recommended that iron supplements, aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications(like Voltaren, Nurofen etc), and vitamins A, C and E are stopped for 2 weeks before the treatment to minimize the possibility of bleeding and bruising.

Before the actual procedure, photos of the area to be treated are taken; these will only be used for comparison with the results at your follow up appointments.

Exactly after the treatment, compression tights should be worn or bandages applied and left on for 24 to 48 hours. It is important to walk immediately after the procedure. During the week after the treatment avoid any ‘jumping’ exercises like tennis, jogging etc but you can walk, swim or cycle. Also avoid squatting or prolonged standing. A follow-upvisit may be recommended 1 week after the procedure to remove any small blood clots that may have formed in the vein.

Are there any the possible complications or side effects?
There may be some cramping discomfort in the legs for a day or 2 after injection. Some bruising at the injection sites is quite common; these will fade over 2 to 4 weeks.

Any small blood collections that form in the veins can be removed in the follow up visit.

Pigmentation in the area treated is uncommon: it results from the breakdown products of the blood in the veins and can be minimized by good compression after the procedure. It usually fades with time but rarely may persist.

Matting is the formation of very fine veins around the treated area, again this is uncommon and usually improves with time.

Skin ulcers, scars and blood clots in the deep veins(thrombosis) have been seen as rare complications, but these can be avoided by properly selecting the client and by using the correct technique.

For whom is the treatment not suitable?
If you are overweight, are on certain medications especially the contraceptive pill, or are a smoker you run a greater risk of complications, and you will have to discuss this during the consultation. Any varicose veins (the large blue prominent veins that can be felt on the skin) need to be removed by a surgeon before any attempt can be made to clear spider veins.

What other treatments are available for spider veins?
Laser and intense pulsed light- are more effective in treating veins on the face and upper body than legs. No anaesthetic is necessary before, and the treatment only lasts a few minutes. Some darkening of the area or slight bruising may occur but this clears in a few days. An important precaution as with all laser treatments is to avoid sun exposure and use a good sunscreen before and after the treatments to avoid pigmentation. These treatments can also be used on leg veins, although there is a slightly higher risk of pigmentation in these areas.

Micromed- is a system of electrocautery whereby tiny electric ‘shocks’ are delivered into the vein by a very tiny blunt needle. It is especially effective for the fine capillaries on the face. Some anaesthetic cream(EMLA) is applied before, and only some light scabbing should form after the treatment. This can be covered with make-up and will fall away in a few days. Electrocautery can also be used to remove skin tags and other small skin lesions.

Endovenous laser ablation- is a procedure where a very fine wire is introduced into the vein through a tiny cut in the skin; through this a laser beam is transmitted to seal the vein from inside. This procedure is effective for treating the larger blue veins, especially the varicose veins. Surgical removal is another option that may be needed for removing these big veins. These will be discussed during your initial consultation.