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How is ultrasound used in sclerotherapy?

Is ultrasound used in conjunction with laser? Is it another form of sclerotherapy?


Doctors Answers (8)

Ultrasound can be used to treat deeper varicose and reticular veins that cannot be seen on the surface of the skin. We can then inject these veins as we are watching on the ultrasound. For smaller, spider veins we do not use ultrasound. Ultrasound is also used in conjunction with laser and radiofrequency ablation of deeper veins. Ultrasound will guide us place the laser or radiofrequency catheter into the vein. In general, ultrasound is used to help with our treatment but it is not used as the treatment itself.

An ultrasound is used in sclerotherapy to locate the veins that need to be treated that are below the skin.

Duplex ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging method which provides both diagnostic information on venous disease and guides real-time treatment. Treatment may involve thermal ablation (with laser or radiofrequency energy) or injections (sclerotherapy).

Ultrasound can be used to evaluate venous flow and locate problem areas where treatment is needed. Ultrasound can also be used to visualize the veins and for the guided placement of a fiber optic catheter into a varicose vein and allow delivery of laser energy through the fiber into the interior of the vein. Sclerotherapy can also be done with different lighting techniques such as trans-illumination to better visualize the veins, by thermal imaging or by using ultrasound to allow the precise placement of either liquid or foam sclerotherapy into a problem vein that is not directly visible near the skin surface.

Yes, duplex ultrasound is required to do endovenous laser procedures. There are different types of laser treatments. There are surface veins, which do not require ultrasound. The underlying veins, such as saphenous veins, requires ultrasound.

Ultrasound is used to help guide the treatment. Sometimes we obtain an ultrasound before a procedure to see if you have a problem with the valves in the veins and venous insufficiency or to make sure that you do not have a blood clot. Sclerotherapy can be done visually where we see the veins or with an ultrasound to help us see veins that are feeding or causing the problem. With this technique, an ultrasound scan is performed to locate the problematic vein and a solution is injected into the vein to fix the problem. If there is venous insufficiency, the ultrasound can also guide treatment with a laser. With endovenous laser, an ultrasound is performed prior to the procedure and during the procedure. During the procedure the vein is located and under ultrasound guidance the vein is entered with a needle and a laser is placed into the vein. The procedure is called endovenous laser ablation and is usually performed in the office under local anesthetic. This type of laser is placed in the vein and used to treat venous insufficiency. This is not used to treat spider veins and is not the laser used on the surface of the skin

People think that sclerotherapy is just used to treat varicose veins or spider veins that one sees with the naked eye. However, there are veins below the skin surface that are the underlying cause of the visible varicose veins. Ultrasound is one technique used to identify these deeper veins. Ultrasound also guides the needle placement into these deeper veins that are undergoing sclerotherapy.

Ultrasound is not used in sclerotherapy at this office, there is no other form of sclerotherapy other than injection of a sclerosing agent.

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