Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy for varicose veins is indicated for patients with large varicose veins who are not candidate for Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) or patients who have left over varicose veins after EVLT. An ultrasound of your leg vein will be performed to determine if you are eligible for EVLT versus Ultrasound guided Sclerotherapy.
Ultrasound sclerotherapy is not for people who like immediate gratification. Immediately following the treatment the veins may look even worse than before you started the treatments. Mostly the treated veins will appear darker than usual but this effect usually disappears within a week. It usually takes between six and eight weeks for the varicose veins to vanish from sight for good. Also realize that ultrasound sclerotherapy is not a cure for varicose veins. Even though it may permanently remove existing veins it cannot prevent the development of new varicose veins over time.
The difference is that, with Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy. the doctor has a monitor on which he can visually see veins that cannot be seen with the ordinary eye. This means that he can find hidden veins beneath the surface of the skin and eliminate them with greater accuracy and precision. The procedure is also considered safer for treating very large veins.
Ultrasound sclerotherapy is never performed on very small veins, such as spider veins, simply because the vein being treated has to be large enough to receive a substance injected from a needle. Usually spider veins (small veins), especially on the face, are treated with the Fotona Laser in our clinic.
Treatment with ultrasound sclerotherapy usually lasts between fifteen minutes and one hour dependent on the complexity of the varicose vein. During a sclerotherapy treatment a liquid agent is injected through a tiny needle directly into the veins, causing them to contract and collapse. It is a very simple procedure that can be performed in our clinic without anesthesia or painkillers. Depending on the number of veins to be treated, the procedure can take anywhere from two minutes to two hours.
After the veins are disabled by the injection, you will be required to wear a special type of pantyhose called compression hose for the next couple of days. This prevents any veins from distending themselves or clumping. You will also be required to avoid activities that affect the circulatory and vascular systems including; exercise, saunas, hot baths and drinking alcohol. The restriction period length will be determined based on the individual patient.
Complications of sclerotherapy are very rare, especially with the ultrasound version of sclerotherapy, but some people do experience phenomena called "matting" where the varicose veins seem to clump up and create an even more involved network of veins beneath the skin. Discolorations and bruises can also occur over the treated site. Skin necrosis (death of tissue) might also occur on rare occasions if the blood flow in the area is not sufficient and somehow the removal of the veins blocks nutrient and oxygen supply to tissues in the treated area. To avoid post vein removal complications follow your doctor's post-operative recommendations as closely as possible.