Sclerotherapy is a treatment used to get rid of unsightly veins such as varicose veins and spider veins. It is also knows as thread vein removal. The procedure is carried out by injecting a solution into the broken vein. Varicose veins mainly affect women but some men may suffer the same faith, especially men who work outdoors.
Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a strong salt solution directly into the blood vessel with a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing inflammation of the wall of the vessels and stick together, and the blood to clot.
Over time, the blood vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view over a period of weeks or months. 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.
Varicose veins are blood vessels which become dilated, twisted, and swollen if not taken care of when in the early stages. Sclerotherapy works well for most patients with varicose veins. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent to 80 percent of injected varicose veins may be eliminated with each injection session.
In general, spider veins respond to sclerotherapy in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months. If the veins respond to the treatment, they will not reappear. However, new veins may appear over time. A return to the clinic will help.
The sclerotherapy procedure normally lasts an hour depending on the severity of the problem and of course the extent of treatment. It is an outpatient treatment and a hospital stay in not needed. Patients are advised to do exercise and carry on normal activity during the recovery period.
The possible side effects of sclerotherapy are that larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving. Red areas and bruising may appear at the injection sites but should fade away quickly.