What is Sclerotherapy (Cappilaries- Telangiectasiae- Varicose veins)
Sclerotherapy (also known as micro-sclerotherapy) is an injectable, non-invasive method considered to be the most appropriate therapy for spider veins, capillaries and varicose veins.
With the term capillaries and varicose veins we define the inadequate intradermal or subcutaneous veins, either dysfunctional or non-functional.
Sclerotherapy has been used since the mid-1900s, though similar attempts date back centuries ago. Widespread applications of the method started during 1960s, more comprehensively and safely, and at the end of the 20th century, the procedure progressed with the ultrasound guidance and the development of foamed sclerosant drugs (injectable solutions in the form of foam).
During treatment, sclerosing solutions are injected within the inadequate veins, causing damage (irreversible change) on the interior vein wall.
Sclerotherapy treatment results in the blockage of non-functional, destroyed veins and their conversion into fibrous chords, which are gradually absorbed by the body over a period of time. Telangiectasiae are possible to disappear (visibly) after the application, but this is only an indication and constitutes the first step in the gradual process of resolution. Usually, the process of complete resolution may last for a period of some months until the complete eradication of the problem is achieved. During this period, a new session of sclerotherapy on the same treated area is not recommended.
The total number of sclerotherapy sessions required for the optimum result varies, according to the number and size of varicose veins and telangiectasiae and to the patient’s response to the therapy.
Contraindications and Complications
Complications of Sclerotherapy with modern solutions are usually mild and temporary, such as pigmentation (a brown line on the vein being treated) or the appearance of tiny red vessels surrounding the application area. Serious complications, such as thrombosis, allergic reaction or neurological disorders are extremely rare.
- Allergy to the applicable solutions
- Severe and/or acute systemic disease
- Severe aversion (phobia) to needles
are not suitable candidates for Sclerotherapy and should seek alternative methods with their dermatologist.
Proper education of the medical practitioner and the medical personnel, as well as the high qualification and training along with the knowledge of principles and restrictions concerning Sclerotherapy are the key factors to significantly reduce unwanted complications and guarantee the desired result.
For the optimum desired results in the Sclerotherapy application, the dermatologist should draw an impeccable plan, taking into consideration the total pathophysiology, especially that of the lower limbs of the individual patient before the session.
Varicose veins treatment is an especially demanding process, because the final result is cosmetic and should meet high aesthetic criteria. For this reason, the dermatologist should be an expert in the application of the therapy and should have fully informed the patient beforehand. A detailed explanation of the procedure as well as a realistic picture of the results, specialized for every patient should be indispensable, well in advance.