SCLEROTHERAPY – THREAD SPIDER VEIN REMOVAL
Thread and spider veins in the leg are caused by unhealthy valves inside feeder veins, allowing blood to flow backwards inwards of upwards towards the heart. Some of this backed up blood can lead to non- functional, “dead end” veins that appear underneath the surface of the skin as thread or spider veins.
Sclerotherapy effectively treats thread and spider veins. It’s often considered the treatment of choice for small varicose veins.
- Improves the appearance of thread/spider veins
- Can improve aching, swelling, burning
- Can help alleviate or improve night cramps
Areas that we can treat include:
- Any area of the legs.
HOW DOES THE TREATMENT WORK?
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.
After sclerotherapy, treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take a month or more to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be needed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY CONSULTATION
During your consultation a detailed medical history will be taken, helping the medical specialist to determine whether treatment is an appropriate product/treatment for you to receive and whether it will help you achieve the results that you are looking for. This will also reduce the risk of any unwanted side effects from the treatment. During this consultation the potential risks and aftercare recommendations are discussed.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TREATMENT
- No aspirin or blood-thinning products (fish oil, vitamin E, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for 7-9 days before the procedure (check with your doctor first if you must be on these medications).
- Bring heavy, thigh-high support wear when you leave the clinic and seven days after treatment (support wear can be generic or the nursing-type; pharmacy type is not required).
- Do not shave or use depilatories on legs the day of the procedure.
- Do not apply cream to your legs on the day of the procedure.
- Shower and thoroughly wash your legs with antibacterial soap prior to the procedure.
- Wear loose-fitting shorts wear during treatment.
- Try to avoid drinking alcohol or smoking 2 days prior and 2 days after the procedure.
For the procedure, you’ll lie on your back with your legs slightly elevated. After cleansing the area to be treated with alcohol, your practitioner will use a fine needle to slowly insert a solution into the appropriate vein.
The solution, usually in liquid form, works by irritating the lining of the vein, causing it to swell shut and block the flow of blood. Eventually the vein will become scar tissue and disappear.
Once the needle is withdrawn, your practitioner applies compression and massages the area to keep blood out of the injected vessel and disperse the solution. A compression pad may be taped onto the injection site to keep the area compressed while your doctor moves on to the next vein.
The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins being treated
HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS LAST FOR?
If you were treated for small varicose veins or spider veins, you can usually expect to see definitive results in three to six weeks. Larger veins may require three to four months. However, multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the results you want.
Veins that respond to treatment generally don’t come back, but new veins may appear.
Studies of sclerotherapy as a treatment for and spider veins indicate that it has an overall success rate of about 60 to 80 percent in eliminating treated veins.
WHO IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THIS TREATMENT?
- Anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients of the sclerosant
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Infection at injection site
- Previous Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Arterial disease
- Open wounds at injection site.
- Leave thigh-high compression stockings on 24 hours a day for 1 week after treatment. They can be worn in the shower, using the hair dryer on the cool setting to dry them. Wear them during the day as much as possible for the second week following sclerotherapy to help improve blood flow in the legs and to keep the treated vessels flattened.
- After the first week, stockings can be removed at night or any time that the legs can be elevated. Wearing the compression stockings will help you to achieve the best possible result with fewer side effects. The should continue to be worn as part of your regular routine and may prevent the appearance of new veins especially if you sit or stand for more than 6 hours a day, are pregnant, or have a strong family history of varicose veins.
- Do not shave your legs for 3-4 days.
- Take a 30-60 minute walk shortly after the treatment, and walk 20-30 minutes a day for 2 weeks, but avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 days. Do not perform aerobic exercise such as jog or ride a bicycle for a week.
- Avoid hot baths or Jacuzzis for a few days following procedure to avoid dilating veins.
- It is normal and expected to have some redness and swelling