How does the procedure work?
Sclerotherapy is a technique which was developed in the 1950s and 60s to treat veins. It involves the use of an extremely fine needle to inject a tiny amount of a dilute solution (sclerosant) directly into the larger veins. The solution causes the lining of the vein to swell, eventually sealing off the blood vessels and preventing blood flow. At Pacific Vein Care, we use polidocanol as our sclerosant of choice because it is painless and effective.
Prior to treatment, a complete medical history is taken and a thorough examination made in order to determine, among other things, how long the problem has existed, are there any ongoing causative factors, and if there are any associated symptoms. An ultrasound study is usually required. This will show if the valves in any of your saphenous veins are broken, Radiofrequency Ablation may be recommended before Sclerotherapy is undertaken. Pre-procedure instructions may include the elimination of certain medications which are know to cause excessive bruising or bleeding.
Large veins can be treated with a sclerosing agent. After the skin is thoroughly cleansed with alcohol a very small needle is inserted into the vein and once secured by tape a syringe is attached and the sclerosing agent is injected slowly. The vein immediately disappears, then returns in about 10-15 seconds and is actually MORE prominent than it was before treatment started. The irritated vein then fades away over a few weeks.
The solution displaces the blood within the vein, causing it to blanch or turn white. The solution then causes the vessel to become irritated and swell shut, prohibiting the blood from reentering the vein. The skin may be kneaded to help disperse the solution and reduce bruising. Each vein may require several injections and most disappear in a few weeks.
After your treatment, we will wrap the area with a compression bandage and after 24 hours you change to your compression stockings. You are required to wear compression stockings for up to 2-3 weeks, and we may put a simple small band-aid over the injection site to protect your clothing. You then simply walk out of the office and immediately resume normal daily activities.
The Benefits and Expected Results
- Gets rid of unsightly larger veins
- Normalizes skin blood flow
- Does not interfere with normal activities
- Safe, virtually painless, in-office treatment
- Walk-In to Walk-Out time is typically one hour