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Sclerotherapy – leg

RATIONALE:

Dilated blood vessels (“spider veins” or telangiectasia) may be treated with injections of sclerosing solutions e.g. polidocanol. These irritate the inner lining of the blood vessel and cause it to close over. Lasers may also be used but are not yet as effective as sclerotherapy on the legs.

RESULTS & POSTOPERATIVE CARE:

  1. One treatment with Sclerotherapy produces 60–70% improvement in injected veins. Therefore, a course of 2–3 treatments at intervals of 4-8 weeks is usually carried out.
  2. It is essential to wear compression stockings during waking hours for 2 to 6 weeks to maximise the results.
  3. A gentle half-hour walk following your sclerotherapy is recommended.
  4. Sclerotherapy does not prevent the future development of new spider veins and is commonly repeated every 2– 3 years.

RISKS & COMPLICATIONS:

Immediately after treatment, small weals will form along the injected blood vessels. The legs will be bruised for a few days after the sclerotherapy. Subsequently, there will be brown pigmentation where the vein used to be. This is less obvious than the veins and fades completely in almost all cases over 6 – 12 months. It is minimised by wearing compression stockings after the sclerotherapy.

Some people develop tiny red blood vessels (‘blush’) near the sites of injection. These usually disappear in 2 – 6 months but if persistent, may be managed with laser therapy. Sclerotherapy of larger superficial veins may cause a clot in the superficial veins to form, resulting in inflammation and tenderness. Usually, this settles by itself but may sometimes need to be incised (cut) to release the clot. Rare side effects include allergy (at the injection site or elsewhere in the body); ulceration and scarring; and deep venous thrombosis (a clot in the deep leg veins).

PREGNANCY:

You cannot be pregnant while receiving this treatment.

PAYMENT:

This procedure is cosmetic and payment is the responsibility of the patient. No healthfund rebate is applicable.