Sclerotherapy – Q & A

All you need to know about Sclerotherapy!

Sclerotherapy is a treatment used widely by vascular surgeons/consultants as well as vein clinics. A sclerosing solution (a type of medicine that will irritate the walls of the veins) will be injected into unsightly spider and reticular veins, causing them dissolve/die off as the body slowly absorbs them back. Don’t be alarmed, all you’ll see on the surface is just slight redness and swelling like mild mosquito bites, maybe a little stingy and itchy feeling after the procedure; but they will go away within several weeks.

Before you decide that this is THE treatment for your veins, make sure you have arranged for an ultrasound assessment with Dr. John Tan to see that there is no deeper vein problem involved. Treating the spider veins alone will not be effective if you have an internal vein problem. Hence it’s best to do a thorough check before making the decision for your treatment options.

Q: Injections?! Are they going to be painful?
The injection needles are extremely small, so they shouldn’t be more painful than a small ant bite. However, on areas which are more sensitive, e.g. the ankle area, knee area or the area at the back of the leg, the injection pain may be more significant. If you have a low threshold for pain, you are advised to take some painkillers an hour before the procedure. It is also important that your body remains still during the procedure as any movement from your body can cause the injection needle to miss injecting into the right veins.

Q: What happens to those ugly spider veins?
The sclerosing solution that was injected into the thread-like veins will irritate them, causing inflammation. The effect of the sclerosing solution will also cause the walls of the ugly spider veins to breakdown and dissolve; those veins will die off and thereafter be absorbed back into the body.

Q: Is killing off the ugly veins unhealthy for the body?
Nope! As much as your veins might not be as bad as those bulging ones, some of them can be appear to be quite ugly and painful. Those veins are reticular veins (which appear to be blue and greenish in colour) and spider veins (which are usually reddish and purplish in colour) and they do cause aching, cramps, tired legs and other symptoms for some patients. These unhealthy veins are no longer useful for the body because their dysfunctional valves limit blood circulation. It is indeed an irony that though you might have one vein (or a few veins) lesser, your blood circulation is actually better because the blood in your body will go to other functional veins and serve their purpose.

To be Continued…

by Lorinda

February 29, 2012

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