Sclerotherapy is the procedure undertaken to treat varicose veins or spider veins in adults, and vascular or lymphatic malfunction in children and young adults where in such veins are shrunken with the help of ultrasound-guided injected medication. Sodium tetradecyl sulfate, chromated glycerin, hypertonic saline, and polidocanol are among the common sclerosants. When the valves within the veins responsible for checking the backflow of blood become inept, the veins begin enlarging leading to the formation of spider veins.
When is it done?
- Small vessels may be destroyed to avoid spider veins for cosmetic purposes
- Venous enlargement or swelling
- Temporary swelling
- Pulmonary embolism
- Capillary dilation
- Tissue necrosis
- Venous thrombosis
Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure and the occurrence of side effects is rare. There may be certain allergic reactions to the medication involved. Bruising clears away with time. Issues like necrosis result from improper care or malpractice after sclerotherapy.
Generally, sclerotherapy involves ultrasound imaging to study the underlying veins and to locate the problem. The procedure may or may not involve the use of anesthesia. A minor stinging effect may be experienced unless the solution has leaked from the vein into the surrounding tissues which might result in some pain, in which case the doctor concerned must immediately be informed. For larger veins microfoam sclerosants are used. Compression pads or garments prove effective post-treatment. This help avoid issues like edema, pigmentation, venous thrombosis and so on. Care must be taken that no vigorous activity is performed by the patient until the consulting doctor thinks it is safe.
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