Sclerotherapy or how to get answers on all my questions about varicose veins


varicose treatment

What is varicose vein injection sclerotherapy?
  • Injection sclerotherapy is a treatment designed to destroy varicose veins by injecting a chemical agent into the faulty vein: the chemical agent is called ‘sclerosant’.
  • The sclerosing effect of this chemical agent occurs when in contact with the inner lining of the vein: therefore, it has to be injected into the varicose vein.
  • The sclerosing effect is brief and local: the sclerosant quickly dissolves into the circulation and its sclerosing effect rapidly wears off. The sclerosant is then eliminated by the kidney and the liver.
  • Nowadays, the two most commonly used sclerosing agents are: Lauromacrogol 400 (AETOXISCLEROL®) and Chrome Alun (SCLEREMO®).
  • Sclerosing agents are used in their liquid form to treat small varicose veins of less than 1 mm (reticular veins).
What is foam sclerotherapy?
  • A standard sclerosant, Lauromacrogol 400 (AETOXISCLEROL®) is mixed with air to create a foam: it is an emulsion.
  • The advantage of using a foam is to allow a better contact with the inner wall of the varicose vein upon injection. Therefore, the sclerosing effect is improved.
  • Foam sclerotherapy is indicated for the treatment of varicose veins as large as 6 mm. Beyond that size, the treatment might be less effective.
The technique of foam injection sclerotherapy. How is it performed?
  • The foam is prepared right before being injected, manually or using a device that delivers standardized foam.
  • An antiseptic is applied on the skin, and the varicose vein is punctured. If the vein is deep, ultrasound guidance will be used: it is called echosclerotherapy.
  • Then the needle is withdrawn, and we control the good result of the treatment by checking the vein spasm, meaning its flattening.
In practice:
  • You can leave the office right after the treatment, by car, and without any assistance.
  • The treatment is painless: no more pain than drawing blood.
  • There is no sick leave and you can resume your daily activities with no downtime.
  • This is an in-office procedure that only lasts a few minutes.
  • The results will be controlled by ultrasound a month after the initial procedure.
Side-effects that can occur immediately and a few days after:
  • Bruising where the injection took place
  • Muscle soreness during the day
  • Migraine or visual disturbances
Side-effects that can occur from the 8th day on:
  • Tenderness along the treated vein (relieved by the use of an anti-inflammatory cream and compression stockings).
  • Phlebitis: the pain along the treated vein will increase. Requires ultrasound examination to confirm the diagnosis, and treatment if needed.
  • Brown staining of the skin of the thigh or the leg over the treated vein: when the varicose vein is very superficial, its treatment can be responsible for a brownish discoloration of the skin, which will fade away within months.

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The medical information on this site does not in any way replace the medical consultation which alone, makes it possible to establish a diagnosis and set up a protocol of care adapted to each individual case.
My-varicose-veins or "how to answer all my questions about varicose veins"