Overall sclerotherapy is very safe if done by qualified person. The four most common products used in sclerotherapy in the US are Sotradecol, Polidocanol Saline, and Glycerin. These products are very effective when placed inside the vessel where they belong. Unfortunately if your provider injects any of these outside the vessel they can cause skin breakdown around the injection site leading to ulceration. Usually this will heal but it can lead to long term discoloration and in rare cases scarring. Another common issue is hemosiderin staining. This is a brown stain that can develop under the skin from the iron in the blood of the closed vessels. This staining can last months to years. This is one of the main reasons we insists on patient wearing compression hose for a few weeks after treatment. A good provider will offer to drain any thrombus (clotted blood) a week or two after your sclerotherapy treatment. Skip any provider that is not an RN, PA, MD or DO. These are the only providers that should be injecting anything into a vein. It is also a good idea to try to find someone who has been injecting for at least a year. There are several less common side effects which can include allergic reactions or temporary visual issues. A good provider will go over all of these and answer all your questions before starting treatment.
Sclerotherapy is safe when performed appropriately. The medications used have been in use for more than 30 years. The volume injected is minimal and rhe needle used is very small. Like anything else, experienced operators have better outcome.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove veins by injection of a sclerosing agent (sodium tetradecyl sulfate or polidocanol). It has matured over the past 150 years to become an effective, safe and comfortable procedure with very little risk of any serious side effects. Common side effects are mild bruising and slight soreness. Complications are rare, and include venous thromboembolism, temporary visual disturbances, allergic reactions, phlebitis, skin ulerations, and staining or hyperpigmentation of larger veins.
In the care of a practitioner who is highly knowledgeable with years of experience about venous disease, sclerotherapy, (injecting a chemical into a vein to cause its hardening and eventual disappearance), is extremely safe. Normal side effects include bruising, itching and mild pain to areas treated. Less common complications include swelling, hyperpigmentation or inflammation over a vein treated or matting (formation of new fine spider veins in area injected), all of which are usually temporary. Rare complications include skin infection, ulceration, deep venous thrombosis, (DVT), or an allergic reaction to the sclerosant.
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