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patient education : 09053--Vein Center Sclerotherapy

Description of sclerotherapy procedure performed in the Northridge Vein Clinic

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PDF document icon PE09053_eng_VeinCenterSclerotherapy.pdf — PDF document, 32 KB (32795 bytes)
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    WHAT IS SCLEROTHERAPY?

    Sclerotherapy is a procedure where unwanted, nonfunctional veins are injected with a medication that causes them to close down.  It is mostly used on veins smaller than 0.3 cm in diameter.  It can sometimes be done on larger veins.  The sclerotherapy medicine causes changes in the lining of the vein that result in the vein sealing off. Blood is then routed to other, functioning veins.

    HOW THE PROCEDURE IS DONE

    • The areas to be injected are cleaned with special cleanser. 
    • A solution of polidocanol or Sotradecol® is diluted appropriately for the vein size.
    • 30 gauge needles, and sometimes a magnifying glass, are used to help get the needle inside the vein, and inject the medicine.
    • The provider then immediately places pressure on the vein to help it seal off, and then bandages it with tape and gauze.
    • After all the areas have been treated, ace wraps, or compression stockings (hose)               (20-30 mm Hg) are applied.  These should be worn for a week.

    THE DAY OF TREATMENT

    • You may drive yourself to and from your appointment.
    • Do not shave or apply moisturizer or tanning solution to your legs the day of treatment.
    • Wear loose fitting clothing or bring shorts.
    • If you have compression hose, bring them with you.

    POSSIBLE PROBLEMS:

    • A pink blush that develops at the site of the veins
    • Brown spots at the spot where the needle entered the skin, or along the path of the vein(s).  These may last for months.
    • In the larger veins, blood may collect and congeal as the lining of the vein is in the process of scarring.  These can be drained if needed.
    • Blisters or sores are very rare, but can occur.
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