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Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

Posted on July 6, 2021 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

This is a specialized procedure for dealing with varicose veins deep in the skin tissues. When varicosities are visible on the skin's surface, it's easy to administer the medications on specific veins. But when the varicosities are buried deeper in the skin, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact problem areas. Ultrasound technology makesit possible to identify and treat varicosities deep in the tissues.

How it Works

The vein specialist performs a comprehensive ultrasound examination to map problematic veins deep in the tissues. Using the ultrasound as a guide, the doctor injects a sclerosing agent into the unhealthy veins making them collapse and shrink. After some time, the veins are reabsorbed by the body, and blood is rerouted to adjacent healthy veins. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy makes it possible for doctors to treat precise vein locations. However, depending on the size of problematic veins, several injections may be necessary to ensure complete closure. During the procedure, the vein specialist monitors each injection to make sure adjacent tissues are safe.

What Happens During and After Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

The procedure takes about 30 minutes, but the physician may allocate up to one hour to allow patient preparation, discussion, and ultrasound examination. After the treatment, patients are given compression socks and may be asked to take a 30-minute walk to facilitate blood flow. 

The socks are worn overnight for the first day, and after that, you wear them for 13 more days during the daytime when you are most active and remove them at night. It is best to avoid strenuous exercises during the first few days after treatment, however you can take walks and move about.

Following a sclerotherapy procedure, patients are reviewed to determine the progress of the procedure. During the review session, the doctor will perform a comprehensive ultrasound examination to make sure the treatment procedure was successful. If the physician identifies any residual varicosities, additional treatment may be recommended.

Benefits of Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy

When sclerotherapy is guided by duplex ultrasound, you get a high-precision procedure that can pinpoint exact varicose locations. The doctor can target optimum locations for maximum effect against problematic veins. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates the need to undergo surgery. In most cases, varicose veins disappear within four to six weeks of treatment.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is a safe and effective alternative to procedures like surgical stripping for treating varicosities. Besides reversing the unsightly appearance of varicose veins, sclerotherapy eliminates the health complications associated with blood pooling.

Possible Issues and Possible Complications

Patients may develop mild discomfort immediately after the sclerotherapy procedure, but it's usually an indicator that treatment is working. While the discomfort fades away on its own, you can get some relief from walking. Discoloration and appearance of tender lumps can be expected in most patients but usually disappears within one month.

During the healing process, inflammation of the treated veins may occur, but it is not a serious issue and is usually resolved by compression. While extremely rare in ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, Deep Vein Thrombosis is a recognized complication in several procedures. With compression therapy and regular exercise, the chances of DVT are significantly reduced.

In most patients, allergic reactions are rare but can present immediately after the procedure. In mild cases, it may cause skin rashes that are often treated with antihistamines. Usually, the doctor will require a patient to wait in the office for at least ten minutes to ensure no signs of allergic reactions are present.

Conclusion

Varicose veins can be uncomfortable to live with, especially if they are painful. However, you don't have to put up with the condition, and you can consult a vein specialist to find out if ultrasound sclerotherapy is suitable for you. At Illinois Vein Specialists, we can help you get relief from painful and unsightly varicose veins.

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Tagged Varicose Vein Treatment, sclerotherapy, spider vein treatment, Ultrasound Guided Therapeutic Sclerotherapy, varicose vein

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