What can it do for you?
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat varicose veins and “spider veins”. Sclerotherapy is a well-proven procedure has been in use since the 1930s to treat varicose veins.
How does it work?
Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally sodium chloride) directly into the varicose vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
Sclerotherapy is performed in a doctor’s office. In most cases, a 23 percent sodium chloride sterile solution mixed with lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and heparin is injected directly into the blood vessel, using a very fine needle. The number of varicose veins injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient’s overall medical condition. Mild discomfort may occur, and a burning sensation may be felt for 1 to 2 minutes when larger varicose veins are injected. The sclerotherapy procedure itself takes about 60 to 90 minutes.
What you need to do before the procedure
Can all skin types be safely treated with Carboxytherapy?
Prior to sclerotherapy, certain medications should be avoided. Tetracycline or Minocin, both antibiotics, may possibly cause a staining of the skin if taken 7 to 10 days before or after sclerotherapy. Ask your doctor about other antibiotic medications you may take, or ask for safe guidelines for discontinuing these medications. If you are required to take an antibiotic before any invasive procedure, such as dental procedures, colonoscopy or surgery, please inform your physician.
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen (i.e. Advil and Nuprin) or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48 hours before and after sclerotherapy, because these medications may interfere with the action of the sclerosing agent. Tylenol is permitted. Ask your doctor for specific guidelines before discontinuing any medication prior to sclerotherapy.
Prednisone also decreases the effectiveness of the sclerosing agent. Ask the doctor who prescribed your prednisone if it can be safely discontinued for 48 hours before the sclerotherapy procedure.
No lotion is to be applied to the legs before or after sclerotherapy. It is recommended that you bring a pair of shorts to wear during the varicose vein treatment procedure.
If you have compression hosiery from previous treatments, please bring them with you so we can make sure they will provide adequate support after the sclerotherapy procedure.
How will I know if I am a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Prior to the procedure, you will have an initial consultation with one or our specialized Dr’s who will tell you if you are eligible for sclerotherapy. You are not eligible for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or are bedridden. You must wait at least three months after birth before you can be considered for this procedure. You can have sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend on the extremity and the reason for the clot.
Veins that is potentially usable for future surgical bypass procedures (such as the saphenous vein for coronary artery bypass graft surgery) will generally not be considered for injection, unless they are already deemed unusable for bypass procedures.