Treating Veins With Injection Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is the non-surgical treatment of leg veins including fine spider veins, medium-sized, blue-tinged reticular veins (feeder veins) and large tortuous varicose veins by injecting sclerosing solution into the affected veins. Practised in medicine for the past 150 years, sclerotherapy is a safe non-surgical procedure
The treatment process
An irritating solution (sclerosing solution) injected into the vessels results in fibrosis and shrinkage. The sclerosant irritates the vein walls and causes them to stick to one another, preventing flow through the veins. Foam sclerotherapy may be used to treat larger veins. This involves mixing air bubbles with the sclerosant and allows more sclerosant to come into contact with the vein wall at a lower concentration.The fibrosed veins are slowly absorbed by the body’s immune system.
Three to four treatments are spaced six weeks apart. Results are not immediate; there is gradual fading of veins over time. Annual maintenance treatments are necessary to maintain the effect over time. Solutions used in sclerotherapy include Fibrovein (Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate) and Venofresh (Polidocanol) Both are FDA approved for the treatment of veins.
Other treatment options for veins include surgery, laser and radiofrequency. There is no perfect treatment option, however at Dr Debbie Norval Aesthetics we use injection sclerotherapy for leg veins as it is non-invasive, safe and effective.
What to expect
Veins do not disappear immediately. They will redden for 24 hours, and then as they seal off, go darker and the body re-absorbs them over a few weeks. Time frames of healing vary. Individuals respond differently to sclerotherapy (and the types of chemical). Some people require more than one treatment or dose change.
Once the sclerosant has been injected, the area will be bandaged for 24 hours. Thereafter you will be required to wear surgical compression stockings up to two weeks depending on type of veins treated.
It is important to have realistic expectations. When sclerosant is injected, the veins vanish as shown on internet videos. However they refill with blood once the sclerosant is washed out (not shown on internet videos). You should expect to see results in 3 to 6 weeks. Larger veins may take up to 3 to 4 months. The overall success rate is 50 – 80 %.
Side effect of pigmentation
The chemical used to treat spider veins can leave pigmentation. Also, the release of a blood pigment called haemosiderin can result in a brownish yellow discoloration. It is not possible to know who will get it and who won’t. Treating bigger veins does increase the risk. In most people this goes away but can take weeks to months or up to a year to fade.