Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical office procedure that can be used to treat most varicose veins. At The Vein Clinic, sclerotherapy is most often used to treat unwanted varicose veins, spider veins, and telangiectasia in the legs. Sclerotherapy is done by injecting a solution into the vein using a very fine needle. The medicated solution makes the vein walls sticky and causes the vein to collapse and close down. The blood flow is redirected to deeper veins. The damaged vein is then reabsorbed by the body, thus getting rid of the undesirable vein.

Sclerotherapy can be a very effective way to eliminate or reduce the unwanted veins. Ridding the body of these damaged veins leads to better circulation in the legs and can also get rid of symptoms that you might experience.

For larger veins we may suggest ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. This treatment is effective for treating larger varicose veins in the legs very successfully. With the many options available for leg varicose veins – from sclerotherapy to endovenous treatments, we rarely send anyone for surgical stripping anymore.

At your consult, we will review the treatment options for your vein treatments. You will need compression stockings for post-care and also for prevention. We do carry the full line of Sigvaris and MEDI compression stockings for your convenience and all our staff are certified fitters to ensure you get the best fit for your legs. Medical compression stockings are often covered by medical insurance plans.

Sclerotherapy is the most common vein treatment in North America. Liquid sclerotherapy can be used for all sizes of veins in the legs and body. However, for larger or more resistant varicose veins, foam sclerotherapy can be used. It has minimal down time and can be repeated if veins recur over the years.

Before Your Sclerotherapy Treatment

• Wear loose-fitting pants as your legs will have cotton rolls attached with tape.
• Bring shorts to wear during the treatment.
• Do not shave your legs on the day of treatment.
• Do not apply lotion on the day of treatment.
• Review any medications at time of consult. Please note alcohol and medications such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) or Aspirin can cause increased bruising.
• Sclerotherapy is NOT recommended if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or three months after delivery.
• Ensure you eat adequately and stay hydrated on the day of treatment.
• Ensure you have appropriate compression stockings (20-30 mm Hg) prior to treatment.
• For foam sclerotherapy only, please bring your thigh high/pantyhose compression stockings along with you to the appointment.
• Important wear and care instructions are included in compression garment box.

After Your Sclerotherapy Treatment

Following Liquid Sclerotherapy

• Walk for 30 – 45 minutes within half an hour of treatment.
• Then remove cotton rolls and tape and put on compression stockings.
• Wear compression stockings during waking hours for a minimum of 2 weeks.
• Avoid vigorous activity such as heavy lifting (more than 10 lbs), gym workouts or running for 1 week.
• Keep your legs cool for 1 week. No hot tubs, saunas or hot yoga.
• Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for at least 2 weeks.
• Avoid air travel for 2 weeks.
• Avoid car rides longer than 2 hours for 2 weeks.
• Wear compression stockings for any long-distance travel.

Following Foam Sclerotherapy

• The nurse will apply your compression stockings for you.
• Walk for 30 -45 minutes within half an hour of treatment.
• Keep cotton rolls and compressions stockings on overnight for the first night only.
• Continue to wear stockings during waking hours for a minimum of 2 weeks.
• Avoid vigorous activity such as heavy lifting (more than 10 lbs), gym workouts or running for 1 week.
204-253-2929 | Unit 3 – 875 Dakota Street, Winnipeg, MB R2M 5S5
• Keep your legs cool for 1 week. No hot tubs, saunas or hot yoga.
• Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for at least 2 weeks.
• Avoid air travel for 2 weeks.
• Avoid car rides longer than 2 hours for 2 weeks.
• Wear compression stockings for any long-distance travel.

Possible Side Effects, Risks and Complications

Common Side Effects

• Temporary burning sensation at injected area- usually subsides by the end of treatment.
• Bruising- usually resolves in 1-2 weeks.
• Brown staining- skin discolouration over the vein area due to the pigment of the blood and inflammation. It may take up to several months to a year to fully resolve; those with darker skin tones or those with an active tan may be at a higher risk to develop staining.

Uncommon Side Effects

• Matting- a small flush of new tiny veins that appears after treatment. This may fade on its own or can be treated at a later time.
• Ulcer- may develop at site of injection when solution escapes out of vein and into surrounding tissue. Although not serious, these may take weeks to months to heal or may leave a small scar. Please contact the clinic in order to treat this complication.
• Superficial blood clots- hard lumps that develop more typically in larger veins that have been treated with foam. They are absorbed by the body over time but persistent lumps can also be drained.
• Phlebitis (inflammation of the vein wall)- more common in larger veins that are treated with foam. Symptoms may include swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness and usually noticed about 1-2 weeks after a treatment. Warm compresses, rest, elevation of the legs and NSAIDS (such as Aleve or Advil) for approximately 48-72 hours can alleviate symptoms.

Very Rare Side Effects

• Allergic reactions
• Deep vein clots (also called deep venous thrombosis/ DVT)
• Arterial injections
• Visual disturbances (blurred vision, flashing lights, temporary vision loss)
• Migraine headaches (in those with a history of migraines)