Due to the special skills and the latest medical technology, you can now be virtually free of unsightly leg veins using a procedure, which is virtually painless.  Another benefit is that the procedure may improve blood circulation by limiting abnormal blood vessels. Sclerotherapy is the term used for injections of veins. It is most commonly used for "spider veins". These are often more pronounced on the upper outer thighs, but can occur anywhere on the legs. They may or may not be associated with the larger varicose veins.
Side-effects are rare and this agent has been shown to be safe. The most disturbing side-effect is the development of brown pigmentation in the area of injection that can usually fades with time. Rarely, this can be permanent can be treated by cosmetic laser therapy. Very rarely allergic reactions can occur, and exercise should be maintained to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

 

Video of client results from Sclerotherapy

 

History

 Unwanted legs veins, also called “varicose or spider veins” have plagued both men and women for many years with no relief available.  The condition is known as superficial varicosities, a dilatation of skin venules, which are fine blood vessels near the surface of the skin.  These blood vessels may become large and unsightly and can produce a dull ache of the leg after prolonged standing.   
Although unwanted blood vessels do carry blood, a great majority, especially spider veins are not necessary to circulatory systems, thus, if their presence is distressing they can be treated by injection of a solution that will cause them to disappear or at least become smaller.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that was first described back in the 19th century.  Since then it has bee used and improved by Doctors in Europe and also in the world.  The Doctors at the Western Vascular Centre are experienced with this procedure.
 

How does Sclerotherapy work?

Using microinjection techniques the surgeon injects a small amount of solution into the leg veins.  Depending on the circumstances a number of different solutions can be produced.  Inside the blood vessel, the solution washes over the tiny cells, which line the inner wall of the blood vessel.  The solution dries out the cells but does not harm any underlying tissues.  Following injection of the solution, the vessels no longer carry blood and begin to shrink.  Eventually the blood vessels disappear by the natural cleansing action of the body and the work of carrying the blood is shifted to another healthy blood vessel near by.  The shifting of blood to the other healthy blood vessels is the reason that the circulation is improved.  This may be another benefit of having sclerotherapy.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes spider veins?

No one really knows. Certain families are predisposed to this condition, particularly female relatives, however certain things make spider veins worse such as, oestrogens, pregnancy, birth control pill, tight girdles and garter belts, prolonged standing or sitting, as well as trauma.

How successful is sclerotherapy?

After several treatments most patient can see some improvement in treated vessels. However the fading process is gradual and perfection seldom achieved.

How soon will the blood vessels disappear?

The blood vessels disappear over a period of six months. The treatment works for existing spider veins, but does not prevent new spider veins from developing later.

Are there other certain vessels, which tend to return more commonly?

These are the type of vessels, which recur in the form of a mass of very fine radiating vessels.

How often can I be treated?

The same area should not be treated for three to four weeks to allow for complete healing.

How many times does it have to be done?

It varies with the number of areas that need to be injected, it also depends on the response to each injection. It usually takes one to three injections to effectively treat any vessels and 10 to 40 vessels may be treated in any one session.

What about laser therapy?

To the best of knowledge no laser is available for fine vessels on the leg. It has however been found to be useful for spider veins on the face.

Are there any ways to prevent spider veins?

The use of support hose may be useful. Weight loss and regular exercise may also be useful, but this has not been proven.

When will I know how successful my treatment has been

It takes 6-8 weeks to see the final result. It must be realized that the injections may need to be repeated, and that permanent cure should not be expected

What should I do before my appointment?

Do not shave you legs for two days prior to you appointment.

What should I do after the procedure?

Immediately after the procedure you will be placed in a graduated compression stocking. When you leave you need to walk for about thirty minutes. If possible do not drive yourself home, but if you need to drive keep you legs moving and make frequent stops to walk every twenty minutes. It is important to maintain normal life style activities. If your legs become painful after the injection, walk. Do not remove the stockings until the following evening. This will require a vast majority of patients to sleep with the stockings on. When the stockings are removed please remove the cotton balls that are there. Although not essential it is probably advisable to refrain from strenuous physical activity such as aerobics and weight lifting for the first 48 – 72hours. Once the stockings have been removed they should be worn during the day only for a further seven days.

Do I need time off work?

No you can go back to work the same day as the procedure is usually painless. If you need an attendance certificate do not forget to ask the doctor for one when you are in the procedure room.

 

Side Affects

Every medical procedure has its risks and benefits.  Even with the highly experienced Doctor performing the treatment, there is some possible side affects associated with sclerotherapy.  In general side affects are minor and are far out weighed by the improvements made possible by sclerotherapy.
The side affects include the following:

  • 20 – 30% of patients develop a small freckle like tan or brown spot over the injected vessel. This usually disappears in over 80% of cases within six months.  A few patients will have a persistent freckle for up to one year and very few patients will have a persisting freckle.
  • Bruising at the point where the needle enters the skin.  Bruising may occur and is possible related to the thinness of the vein walls. It usually disappears within one to two weeks.
  • Development of groups of fine red blood vessels. A new appearance of previously unnoticed fine red veins can occur after sclerotherapy.  These new veins can occur after two to three days and may not visible several weeks after treatment. Usually the condition improves in a few months without any specific treatment, but rarely is permanent.
  • Swelling at the injection site.  Sometimes a bump develops at the injection site especially if the recommended stocking are not worn correctly, Such bumps will not cause internal problems, but removal by the Doctor within a few weeks may speed up the healing process and decrease the incident of brown staining.
  • A small ulceration of the skin underlying the injected site may rarely occur.  This may leave a permamnent scar but needs to be seen as soon as possible my one of our Doctors.
  • Inflammation of the treated vein.  Inflammation of injected veins is very unusual, but when it occurs can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, compression and bed rest.
  • Allergic reaction to sclerosing solution.  Allergic reactions may occur following sclerotherapy with any sclerosing agents, but this is extremely rare.  Minor reactions can be treated with antihistamine medication, but there is a very small possibility of an anaphylaxis reaction.

 

About the Sclerosant

The sclerosant used is Aethoxysclerol. Aethoxysclerol is a solution used for injecting varicose and spider veins in Europe and the United Kingdom for many years on thousands of patients.  Recently, it is being used in the United States.  According to extensive information that is available overseas, it is one of the safest and most effective sclerosants available in the world at the present moment.  Its main advantage is that it has very much less pain on injection than sclerosants previously available in Australia. It is now fully registered for use in Australia.