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How effective is sclerotherapy?

This question was asked in Irvine, California and has 6 answer(s) as of 02/18/2013.
How effective is sclerotherapy? What should be my level of expectation for this treatment to get rid of my varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (6)

Excellent question because expectation of treatment are so important. Sclerotherapy is the best and most versatile way to the varicose veins in the skin, once any underlying reflux issues have be ruled out or addressed. It is important to understand that it can take on average three or more treatment to treat all the varicose veins on a leg. One treatment may only eliminate half of the varicosities.

Sclerotherapy is very effective for the treatment of many veins seen in varicose vein disease. I mean primarily those veins that are visible rather than those found about an inch below the skin. I like to use an analogy of a tree. The trunk vein(s) are found beneath the skin layers. The branches and leaves are found on the skin surface or just below. Trunk veins are best treated with instruments using heat to close down these veins. An older form of treatment is surgery called 'vein stripping'. Sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for the surface veins mentioned above. A reasonalable range of success is 50-80% effective for these veins; in some very large veins, most all will respond. Tiny veins are more challenging to inject; bigger veins are good sized 'targets" and therefore easier to inject. Just injecting veins without a plan will often result in suboptimal outcomes. How and which veins are injected makes a big impact on results. So, if sclerotherapy is to be performed, make certain it is done by someone who has sufficient experience.

Dr. Prevosti tells patients that when they undergo sclerotherapy for spider veins, patience and persistence are necessary. "Patience, because there is a delay of a few weeks to several months before the full effect is seen, and persistence, because sometimes spider veins need more than one injection to close them down", says Dr. Prevosti. In many instances, sclerotherapy is quite effective. Sometimes spider veins can be recalcitrant (resistant) to treatment. In that case, additional sessions of sclerotherapy are necessary. Dr. Prevosti says that if spider veins are not responding as expected, there is probably some underlying venous insufficiency keeping the spider veins open. A careful venous ultrasound can usually identify the source of the problem and a solution be formulated. In general, Dr. Prevosti does not use sclerotherapy to treat large, bulging varicose veins. He prefers micro ambulatory phlebectomy to remove those types of varicose veins.

Every patient is different in terms of the number, size, and extent of varicose veins. The proper treatment depends on the size, shape, and location of the abnormal veins. Some patients need sclerotherapy only while others need procedures such as endovenous thermal ablation or microphlebectomy. Sclerotherapy is quite effective when perofmred for the right reasons in the proper manner. There is variation from patient to patient in terms of response and some patients need more treatment than others, but most patients get an excellent response to treatment. Talk with your physician and make sure that your physician is well-versed with all of the major treatments for superficial varicose veins. Avoid those who try to treat everything with one type of procedure.

Sclerotherapy is about 80% effective in getting rid of varicose veins. The results depend on the extent of varicose veins, their size, their location and whether there is evidence for venous valvular reflux in the greater saphenous vein or short saphenous vein. The presence of reticular veins or spider veins too could also effect the degree of satisfaction you might experience. Often time several treatments are required depending on the extent of involvement with varicose veins.

Question: How effective is sclerotherapy? Question Detail: How effective is sclerotherapy? What should be my level of expectation for this treatment to get rid of my varicose veins? In general, sclerotherapy is very effective in treating both the medium sized blue reticular veins, and the small red to purple spider veins. In our practice we usually see 90-95% or bettter clearance rates with each treatment. The response rate is dependent on the pattern and amount of veins you have; on the type, strength and amount of sclerosant used in the treatment; as well as the care afterwards that includes wearing compression hose for several weeks and avoiding hot water including baths, jacuzzi s, suana's etc for a month following sclerotherapy.

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