Sclerotherapy (cont.)

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How do people prepare for the sclerotherapy procedure?

Patients are screened using special ultrasound techniques to determine the site of venous disease prior to treatment. In situations where there is only a small area of spider veins, this is rarely done.

How are sclerotherapy injections administered?

There are now two FDA-approved sclerosants available, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a detergent) and polidocanol (Asclera). For small veins, hypertonic saline is occasionally used. Depending on the size of the vein to be treated, the sclerosant may be administered as foam. The vessel to be treated is inserted with a needle of the appropriate caliber and the chemical is injected.

What is the recovery time for sclerotherapy?

This is an outpatient procedure and the patient leaves the office on the same day of treatment.

What aftercare is needed following a sclerotherapy procedure?

Patients should wear compression dressings for one to three weeks after treatment. A follow-up visit within two weeks to enable the evacuation of blood clots in larger veins can improve the prognosis and the appearance.

What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?

For patients with venous insufficiency, treatment can be beneficial by improving venous blood flow and limiting chronic swelling. For those with cosmetic complaints, their appearance can be improved.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/28/2013