Compression hosiery for 2 weeks
Straight back to life and work
6-8 weeks and can be up to 6 months
Recommended as a course spaced 6-8 weeks apart
What is Sclerotherapy?
Thread veins can be seen through the skin on the surface as red or blue blood vessels that can often look worse on hot days or after standing for long periods of time. Whilst they are not harmful or a risk to health, they can cause a great deal of anxiety and upset.
While there are other treatments available for removal of thread veins on the legs, sclerotherapy is by far the most effective option.
Men and women can suffer from unsightly veins on the legs and the causes range from hormonal changes, local injury or lifestyle factors such as weight gain or jobs that involve standing up for long periods with little movement. They can also be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition such as varicose veins.
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, Sclerotherapy is safe, predictable, and reliable and offers the gold standard for the management of spider veins on the legs and body.
Why consider Sclerotherapy
While most patients seek treatment for cosmetic reasons, some do have physical symptoms such as tired, achy legs. The legs may become swollen and following long periods of standing, the vessels can look very red and angry.
As the term suggests, ‘micro’ sclerotherapy injections use super fine needles to introduce the sclerosing solution into the small vessels. Once the solution is in the network of vessels, it causes the inner lining of the vessels to become inflamed. This inflammation causes the vessels to collapse and it, along with the blood, is reabsorbed into the body, leaving the skin clear and free of thread veins.
The effectiveness of the treatment relies very much on the experience and skill of the practitioner and here at the Jonathan Britto Clinic we have been performing the sclerotherapy treatments for over 20 years. Results are based on a thorough, in-depth and accurate medical assessment prior to treatment taking into account many factors and including diagnostic testing to ensure an accurate treatment plan is established. Failure to complete this examination and diagnostic assessment could lead non-responsive treatment or worse still, avoidable complications.
The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasias, which present as prominent clusters of damaged blood vessels. In most patients, there are no serious medical concerns, but a thorough medical examination is required to establish any underlying medical causes which require further investigation.
Sclerotherapy is not intended to treat healthy veins, only damaged vessels and the removal of which causes no disruption or negative impact on the vascular system.
A prescription medication called a sclerosing agent is injected directly into the thread vein using a very fine needle. Once in the vessel, the sclerosing agent cause inflammation. This can be seen after the treatment as the area can look slightly swollen and may itch. Over a period of 4 to 8 weeks, the vessel walls collapse, and the redundant tissue and blood are absorbed harmlessly into the body leaving no sign of the vessel on the surface of the skin.
This process from treatment to resolution can take 6 to 8 weeks and when treating larger veins clearance can take up to 6 months. A course of treatment is recommended, and treatment is best completed in the winter months as special compression tights need to be worn for 10 to 14 days after treatment.
Once treated, the veins will not return, and the effects are permeant. However, it must be considered that new veins can appear over time, particularly if predisposed and have a vascular medical history.
The technique of Sclerotherapy is a long established and researched practice. The sclerosing agents used for the Sclerotherapy treatment are broadly similar but will determine the documented risks. Sclerotherapy is considered a safe treatment and severe, life-threatening side effects are considered extremely rare. Minor side effects are normally transient and self-limiting and include bruising, itchy swollen skin and pigmentary changes in the skin.
In the hands of a skilled injector, it should not. The needles used are as thin as the vessels we are treating and the sclerosing agent gives some anaesthetic benefits. Most patient lie very happily chatting or reading a book and feel no discomfort at all.
Typically, vessels which are 1 to 3mm in diameter and red or blue in colour. These are referred to as thread or spider veins. These vessels are often ‘fed’ or supported by deeper reticular veins which lie beneath the clusters of thread veins. These reticular veins can be treated with sclerotherapy, and it is essential that they are treated if connected and this is often a reason why some patients have poor results from sclerotherapy when these ‘feeder’ veins have not been considered.
The answer is yes, however there are much more effective and safer methods used nowadays. Specialised surgical Lasers are the most popular treatment of choice for varicose veins and unlike the old fashioned surgical ‘stripping’ of varicose veins, Laser’s offer quicker recovery time and better cosmetic outcomes. Sclerotherapy and Laser surgery are often combined and the form a complimentary treatment plan.
For full details of our treatments please contact us today.