If you are looking for a treatment of varicose veins, among the treatments your doctor will likely discuss is one called sclerotherapy, a procedure that has been used for decades with excellent results.
Sclerotherapy involves using a thin needle to inject a chemical into a vein, causing the vein to collapse. The chemical, often a saline solution in a liquid or foam form, causes scar tissue to form in the vein, cutting off blood flow. The vein will eventually collapse and be absorbed into the body.
Physicians treating diseases in the 1840s noticed that when they injected certain types of liquids into patients, the injection caused veins to collapse and disappear. Shortly after, some doctors began investigating whether such procedures could be used to treat varicose veins. Sclerotherapy became widely used for treatment of varicose veins in the mid-1900s after doctors had experimented with a number of chemicals to find ones that worked effectively and safely.
Sclerotherapy has been practiced for at least 30 years in its current form to remove varicose veins and is considered extremely safe and effective. The only change in the procedure has been the addition of ultrasound to allow doctors to locate veins deeper in the leg for treatment.
Sclerotherapy treatment is done in your doctor’s office. There may be minor pain when the needle is inserted, and a vein may require more than one injection. If you have several veins that require treatment, you probably will need to return for more than one visit. Treated veins don’t disappear immediately – it may take three or more weeks for them to be absorbed completely.
After the treatment some people experience itching, tenderness, bruising or the temporary appearance of extra pigmentation over the injection areas. More serious side effects, like allergic reactions, are rare. That’s why sclerotherapy has become the “gold standard” for treatment of many instances of varicose veins.
Vein Institute doctors have years of experience treating varicose veins, so they can answer any of your questions about any procedure. Schedule an appointment today for a free consultation.