Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive method of treatment which is used to treat both Varicose and Spider Veins. It involves using a mild chemical solution known as a sclerosant to treat the affected veins. Usually, the mild chemical solution used by hospitals is either “Polidocanol” or “Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate”. This chemical solutions are used because there is a low risk of side effects. It is also common to use a salt solution.
- Fasting for a minimum 6 hours before the surgery.
- The patient will not take any medications (especially blood thinners). Patients will have to stop taking anti-inflammatory tablets or medications from one week.
Sclerotherapy: Injecting the Sclerosant
- The surgeon will use ultrasound, to scan the affected area to get a clear idea of the infection. This will help the surgeon to identify the right veins and inject them.
- After scanning, the surgeon will clean and sterilize area.
- The surgeon injects the sclerosant into the target vein.
In case of varicose veins, the surgeon will inject the sclerosant int he the affected vein only. While in case of spider veins, the surgeon will administer the sclerosant into the feeder vein which supplied blood to the visible branches.
What does the Sclerosant do?
The solution which is injected causes sclerosis of the vein. A phenomenon which causes the vein to collapse on itself and stop functioning. It irritates the wall of the varicose vein and thus the vein loses its functionality. The blood will divert to other healthy veins and over time the body will absorb the dead vein.
Post Surgical Care
After the surgery, The surgeon will tightly bandage the treated area. This will close the treated vein and therefore forces the blood to flow through other healthier veins.
- The patient needs to wear compression stockings for a few days to support the blood vessels in the affected area.
- Surgeon will prescribe medication to reduce the pain after surgery.
- Patient should be careful and should not apply pressure on the treated leg.
- It is advisable to have an ice pack. If there are any swelling around the treated area then ice pack will help to reduce the treatment.
The recovery time is quick and the patient can immediately return to their daily activities without any hindrance.
The complications of this treatment is near to none. Sometimes however, there are a few side effects after the surgery which require immediate medical care. These could be:
- Sudden swelling is seen in the leg which does not reduce with ice.
- Ulcers which form near the injection site.