Sclerotherapy for varicose veins is a medical procedure that involves direct injection of a sclerosant into the vein. It is a non-surgical procedure requiring only an injection. This procedure is applied to treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency. It can also be used to treat blood and lymph vessel disorders. The sclerosant is generally a salt solution that irritates the inner lining of the veins walls causing it to swell, collapse and stick together. This swelling cuts off the flow of blood or lymphatic fluid and the vessel shrinks. The blood within the vein clots and makes the vein or lymph vessel to shrink and over period of time, dead cells are absorbed in to the system and scar tissues fade away. The benefits of Sclerotherapy for patients with venous insufficiency are by improving venous blood flow and limiting chronic swelling and for those with cosmetic complaints, their appearance can be improved.
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Conditions that can be treated with Sclerotherapy are:
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins if the veins are painful, legs are sore or for cosmetic changes of the skin such as patches, rashes or dryness
- Lymph vessel malformation
The solution normally used as the sclerosant for this procedure is called sodium tetradecyl sulphate (STD) and is medically available in different concentrations to suit the size of the vein being treated. To block small veins, hypertonic saline may be occasionally used. The chemical is injected through an inserted needle of a calibre appropriate to the vessel being treated. In one session, the number of veins that can be treated depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition and circumstantial requirements of the patient. The decision is best taken by the surgical team to conduct the procedure in conjunction with patient compliance. This is a single-day outpatient procedure enabling the patient to walk immediately after the session and return home the same day.
Normally, the sclerosant is injected as a solution directly into the vein to be treated. One other method of Foam sclerotherapy involves rapid mixing and agitation of small volumes of the solution with air. Abnormal large deep veins which normally are not possible to be treated with conventional sclerotherapy can be treated using Foam Sclerotherapy with the ability to cover large vein areas.
There is need for the Patient to wear compression dressings for one to three weeks after treatment with Sclerotherapy to avoid complications. It is required that the patient does not do any aerobic activity for a few days after the procedure. There may be a follow-up visit required within two weeks to check for complete evacuation of blood clots in larger veins and thereby ensure improved prognosis and appearance.
Side effects of Sclerotherapy that may occur at the site of the injection may include bruising, raised redness of the skin, mild skin sores, pigmented skin lines or spots, and the appearance of multiple small red blood vessels. Some of these side effects may fade in a few days whereas others may last for a long period. Less common complications that may require medical attention are inflammation, blood clot, Deep Vein Thrombosis, air bubbles, and allergic reactions.
Varicose veins treatment in Chennai is available at Laser Vein Clinic (LVC). It is important to consult with a qualified doctor and ensure that the treatment is tailored to the individual’s needs. Common treatments for varicose veins include sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, and radiofrequency ablation. In some cases, surgery may be required. The best way to get the most appropriate treatment is to consult a specialist and discuss the possible options.