What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a procedure for treating unsightly spider veins, thread veins and deeper reticular veins commonly found on legs and occasionally on other areas of the body.
How does it work?
The procedure involves the injection of a small amount of a product known as Sclerovein into each of the thread veins or vessels. This causes inflammation in the vessel walls and coagulation of the blood. Over a period of 6-8 weeks these vessels become incompetent and the blood is reabsorbed into the system. This results is a fading of the vessel or can no longer be visible on the surface of the skin.
Does it work?
We have found patient satisfaction with the procedure to be high as long as they understand that they may require repeated treatment and follow their after care instructions carefully. We find that it is still by far the most superior way to treat this condition.
How many treatments will I need?
This is very much dependent on the severity of the condition. You practitioner will discuss with you how many sessions they anticipate once they have completed an examination, however as a general guide we suggest between 2-8 sessions.
Will it hurt?
Surprisingly many patients find the treatment very comfortable with very little discomfort. The needles used are very fine and the product itself causes a slight analgesic effect. You may experience some irritation, itching and heaviness in the legs after the treatments and some experience a feeling of cramp for the first day or two after the injections.
What type of veins can be treated?
We can treat superficial thread veins as well as deeper reticular veins (blue in colour). Indeed some vascular surgeons still use sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins. However if we feel you have an underlying vascular dysfunction such as varicose veins we will refer you to your GP or vascular surgeon.
What will my legs look like after the treatment?
The veins will look worse before they look better. By this we mean there may be some bruising at the injection sites that will decrease over approximately one months time. The area will look sore and inflamed similar to if you had been stung by an insect. It is for this reason that we advise you to start the treatment in the winter when the legs can be covered under trousers.
What is the aftercare advice?
We advise patients to refrain from going to the gym and heavy pounding exercises for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. We would like the vessels to heal and therefore gentle exercise such as walking it recommended.
You will be required to wear specially designed graduated compression tights for at least 2 weeks after the treatment and this is vital to the treatments success. The tights are provided at the first treatment session and are included in your treatment cost. Avoid prolonged sitting and standing and hot baths after the injections.
Are there any side effects?
There have been rare cases of allergic reactions reported to the medication used for the treatment. Your medical history is checked before treatments commences however always tell you practitioner if you have had allergic reactions to anything in the past.
Some patients experience some residual brownish pigmentation following the treatment that gradually fades over a period of approximately 6-12 months, but in some cases can be permanent. Recent studies suggest that a high concentration of iron in the diet could contribute to this staining and therefore you would be advised to avoid high iron foods and supplements before the treatment, but only if it is safe to do so.
In rare cases, the skin overlying the vein can be injured resulting in a wound, which on healing will leave a scar.
How long does the treatment take?
The average treatment session takes approximately 30 minutes after which you are advised to spend a short time in our rest room and have glass of water, you are then able to drive home and return to your normal activities immediately.
How often can I have the treatments?
Treatments are spaced 6-8 weeks apart. When treating deeper vessels they can take up to 3-6 months to resolve fully and your check up appointments will assess how often you need treatment.
Do I need to do anything before I come along for my treatment?
You are advised not to apply moisturiser or other creams to your legs on the day of your injections and if possible do not shower for 24 hrs after the procedure. It is often difficult to see the vessels when there is a tan so where possible avoid the application of fake tan and immediately after a sunny holiday.
What should I do next if I want a treatment?
It couldn't be easier call or email us to arrange a consultation in one of our national clinics.
If you have more questions please e mail us or call 01206 298464/0870 4585 483 and we will be happy to answer you questions.
Camila, 56 years, Councilor, from London, says:
I had had treatment for varicose veins in the past but was left with unsightly blue and red veins. I never wore skirts and the thought of going on the beach horrified me. I asked my vascular surgeon if he could help but he said they were too bad and just live with them. I felt very unhappy and didn't know where to turn. I then met the girls from Glancey Medical and enquired about treatment with them. I dreaded the examination and half expected the same reaction as my surgeon had. But this was quite the contrary, having discussed the treatment and the risks it was suggested that I would get a good result but it would take time and I would have to be patient.
Eighteen months on and I am delighted, I have approximately 70% reduction of the vessels which believe me is fantastic to when I started. This will be the first year in over 12 years that I am going to get my legs out for summer and as I have been reliably informed I have great legs. Thank you so much to you all at Glancey Medical you have changed my life which is no exaggeration.