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What is Sclerotherapy and How is it Beneficial?

Sclerotherapy is useful in treating spider veins, varicose veins, and other vein issues. It is a procedure involving injections into the vein that causes it to close off and become inactive. It does not cause any problems for any of the other body systems. This procedure is used for a variety of problems in children and adults.

Besides options like laser ablation, ultrasound, and surgery sclerotherapy is recommended very highly for treating vein issues such as spider veins and veins that are malformed and don’t function properly.

History of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy was discovered more than 150 years ago. It has been used to treat a variety of vein and blood-related issues. Over the years, equipment and techniques have improved. With the assistance of modern ultrasound and foam solutions, the accuracy in treating these issues has increased making them even more effective.

The very first instance of sclerotherapy being used was in Switzerland in 1692. The doctor administering the treatment, Zollikofer, injected an acidic solution into a vein creating a thrombus formation. The practitioner experimented with different solutions including tannins and iodine.

The Methodology of Sclerotherapy

The principle is that the vein causing the issues is injected with a solution that causes it to shrink and eventually close off. Over time it is dissolved by the body and the blood from that vein is rerouted to another fully-functioning vein. It is considered non-invasive and takes only a few minutes to complete. For the patient, that means no surgery and no recovery time.

Complications That Can Occur

While this type of treatment is safer than surgery, complications do occur from time to time, although rare. Complications and side effects may include redness, allergic reactions, hyperpigmentation,  skin necrosis, and thrombophlebitis in the treatment area.

When properly injected into the vein, there is no damage to the surrounding skin tissues from the solution. Necrosis and scarring can happen if not done correctly;y and can take months to heal completely. You may also develop tiny red vessels on the skin that will require laser treatments later.

Most often, complications occur due to an allergic reaction to the solution used in the injection. There may also be a complication due to a system issue that was not known at the time. No treatment is 100% safe and has no side-effects. With any type of procedure, there are risks involved. Talk to your doctor and share your medical history before considering this type of treatment.


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