What Is Sclerotherapy?

Did you know that if only one parent has a history of spider or varicose veins, you have a 40% – 50% chance of inheriting the condition? And if both parents have venous insufficiency, your chances of developing similar issues increases to approximately 90%.

Luckily, there are many options available today for those seeking to solve the issue of painful and discolored veins. One such treatment lasts mere minutes and delivers long-lasting results, helping many to find restored comfort and confidence: sclerotherapy.

The History of Sclerotherapy

According to the U.S. National  Library of Medicine, the history of sclerotherapy can be traced back to the 1850s, “although current modifications have been made possible by the introduction of detergent sclerosants and ultrasound guidance.”

In 1854, a total of 16 cases of varicose veins were reportedly cured by injecting iodine and tannin into the veins, though this method was ultimately abandoned due to the negative side-effects of the aforementioned injections. By the 20th century, sclerotherapy research progressed, seeing similarly tried-and-later-abandoned treatments using carbolic acid and perchlorate of mercury.

It was not until 1946 that doctors began to implement the use of tetradecyl sulfate, which paved the way to modern sclerotherapy. Today, the most commonly used sclerosants are reported to be hypertonic saline, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, polidocanol, and mixtures containing glycerine, lidocaine, and epinephrine.

How Sclerotherapy Works

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical method for eliminating both spider veins and varicose veins.

During sclerotherapy treatment, a sclerosant solution is injected into the veins as a means of irritating the blood vessel’s lining and inducing fibrosis. The thickening of the veins’ inner wall effectively cuts off the blood blow to the targeted veins, causing them to shrink and collapse. Once collapsed, the blood flow is consequently rerouted to healthier veins, eliminating the spider or varicose veins and improving the patient’s overall circulatory functioning.

On average, a patient needs to undergo two to five sclerotherapy treatments in order to complete the process fully.

What Else Can I Expect From My Appointment?

Today, sclerotherapy often involves the use of ultrasound imaging to visualize and plan out the area of treatment prior to the actual appointment. Once your appointment has ended, your physician may provide you with a compression stocking to wear for several days following treatment.

The benefits of sclerotherapy include:

  • Long-lasting results
  • No downtime following your appointment
  • No scarring of the skin
  • No staining of the skin
  • Few (if any) allergic reactions

If you are ready to schedule a free screening regarding your spider veins, or if you have further questions regarding sclerotherapy, contact Duval Vascular Center today! We promise to always collaborate with your healthcare providers to tailor a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Call us today at (904) 518-1398.