During Injection Treatment (Sclerotherapy), a special medication is injected into the varicose vein with a small needle. This causes inflammation of the vein lining, which will then stick together when the vein is compressed.
Most of the varicose veins originate beneath the skin out of view, and so an ultrasound is used to identify these veins and their origin. They can then be injected under ultrasound guidance, which not surprisingly is called Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS).
When treating Spider Veins, the procedure is called Microsclerotherapy, using tiny needles.
After the treatment, usually soft varicose veins will turn into hard lumps. It is absolutely normal. Then they will start to shrink. The process of sclerosis takes usually 3 to 6 months, but can take longer if your varicose veins were very large before the treatment.
All treatments but microsclerotherapy, include the usual follow-up visits.
Possible Complications or adverse reactions
- Bruising ( Common but temporary).
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary embolus (Uncommon).
- Rarely, no reaction at all.
- Staining of the skin overlying the vein. This is usually temporary, and settles but very occasionally may be permanent.
- Painful inflammation of the treated vein or vein close by which is called phlebitis. Usually occurs 4 weeks after the treatment and resolves after 3-4 weeks. Extra week of the compression therapy and anty-inflammatory medications (topical or oral) decrease discomfort. After sclerotherapy phlebitis is not an infection so it does not require antibiotics.
- Anaphylactic allergy. This is the same as in people who collapse from bee stings or peanuts. It is very uncommon and we are prepared to react in such situation
- Small skin ulcer (very rare).
- Infection of injection site (very rare).
- Neovascularisation (matting), where a blush of tiny capillary veins occurs, usually about the knee – usually self resolving, however if prolonged we can still treat it with the skin laser.