So, what do you know about sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy comes from a Greek word “skleros” which means hard. Sclerotherapy basically means the treatment of blood vessels or blood vessel malformations (vascular malformations) which includes lymphatic system also. In this process a medicine is injected in the vessels which shrink them. It is used for young adults or children with lymphatic or vascular malformations. Basically, if we talk about adults then in adult’s sclerotherapy is used often to treat hydroceles, smaller varicose veins, spider veins and hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy is the method along with radiofrequency, surgery or laser ablation for the treatment venous malformations, spider veins and occasionally varicose veins.
What about ultrasound guided sclerotherapy?
In ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, ultrasound is initially used to visualize the veins underlying so that the physician can easily monitor and deliver the injection. And sclerotherapy often takes place under this ultrasound guided sclerotherapy after the diagnosis of venous abnormalities with duplex ultrasound. Usage of microfoam under ultrasound guided sclerotherapy has turned up to be effective in controlling reflux from speno-popliteal and sapheno-femoral junctions.
What are the methods of sclerotherapy?
When the sclerosing solution is injected into the unwanted vein it causes the targeted vein to shrink immediately. After that it gets dissolved within period of weeks as treated veins naturally absorbs it. This procedure takes about ten minutes and is a non-invasive procedure. In comparison to an invasive varicose surgery, the downtime is minimal. Sclerotherapy is preferred over laser for elimination of smaller varicose leg veins and large spider veins. The sclerosing solution plays the role of closing the feeder veins that lie under the skin causing formation of spider veins less likely in treated areas. The involved leg is injected by several injections of dilute sclerosant then the leg is compressed with bandages or stockings that are worn for further two weeks after treatment. Patients are even advice to walk regularly during this period of time. Sclerotherapy are even performed using microfoam sclerosants trough ultrasound guidance for treating larger varicose veins which includes small and large saphenous veins. By using ultrasound, patient’s varicose veins are mapped then these veins are injected while monitoring of the injection is undertaken. Sclerosant injected could be observed entering the vein then the further injections are performed so that abnormal veins are treated. Ultrasound is followed up for the confirmation of the closure of the treated veins. After that any residual varicose vein can be treated and identified.
What are the complications of sclerosis?
Complications of sclerosis includes visual disturbances, allergic reaction, venous thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, hyperpigmentation i.e. red treated are and skin necrosis. There is no damage if sclerosant is injected properly but if injected outside the vein then it may result into scarring or tissue necrosis. Skin necrosis may take months to heal if it is cosmetically potentially devastating. Balancing occurs when STS is injected into small artery branches i.e. arterioles. The development of tiny red vessels is unpredictable and should be treated by repeated sclerotherapy or laser. When sclerosant travels through the passage of veins to heart, brain and lung then systemic complications arises.