Font Size: Increase | Decrease

What happens to veins during sclerotherapy?

This question was asked in Bronx, New York and has 8 answer(s) as of 07/19/2013.
I read about sclerotherapy and it kills and closes veins, getting rid of them forever. Are those veins I might need some day? Is it safe to get rid of the it permanently?


Doctors Answers (8)

Sclerotherapy is the injection of an FDA approved chemical (sclerosant) that is usually a medical grade non-toxic detergent. This sclerosant destroys a short segment of the one-cell thick inner lining of the vein known as the endothelial lining by a process of protein theft. The detergent is inactivated by blood proteins within seconds of injection into the vein so only has a limited land local effect. As a result, the treated vein spasms and closes without further venous flow in that segment. This endothelial lining however can be repaired and replaced by circulating cells in the blood so the vein must be kept closed for several weeks for the treatment to be effective and permanent. After treatment, compression hose are worn for several weeks and there is a restriction on exposure to hot water such as baths, saunas, etc. for at least one month. You do not have a "limited supply" and can never "run out of" having veins as replacement veins grow easily your entire life. People with problem veins actually have far too many veins on their legs (most are not working well) with purple ankles as the problem veins are retained and the new functioning veins do not stay normal for long causing this to be progressive. Therefore, treatment and removal of problem veins benefits circulation, prevents the progression of problem veins and is long lasting. Limiting prolonged standing, increased walking, wearing maternity hose during pregnancies and avoiding high heeled shoes will also help prevent further vein problems.

Varicose and spider veins cannot be repaired and can be safely eliminated because the body has many extra veins which take over. That's why vein surgery and sclerotherapy has been around for many decades.

The objective of sclerotherapy is to seal closed veins which are abnormal and which allow blood to run the wrong direction in response to gravitational forces while leaving the more normal veins alone. If an abnormal refluxing vein is being treated, it no longer is of value since its presence results in higher pressures in adjacent veins.

There are many veins in the body to return the blood back to the heart. Sclerotherapy has been safely performed for many many years. If we are treating the small superficial veins and the slightly larger "feeder" veins, they are needed. If the veins you are having treated are large bulging veins, we typically remove those through small punctures which heal nicely. Sclerotherapy in these veins involves multiple treatments whereas microphlebectomy involves usually one. Varicose veins are non functional and would not be used for anything.

Your body can grow new veins through a process called Neogenisis. It is ok to get rid of incompetent veins.

The purpose of sclerotherapy is to cause a chemical phlebitis that results in the development of a densely adhered clot that does not travel through the venous system. Each injection, which is usually done under Ultrasound imaging is followed by multilayer compression bandage for approximately 3-5 days; it's subsequently replaced by the stocking until your next appointment. The number of sclerotherapy treatments varies according to how many veins need treatment.

Yes, sclerotherapy closes the treated veins. They are then absorbed into the body. The treated veins are not needed. The nearby veins, which are working properly, easily carry the blood that need to be circulated. The net effect is improved circulation.

Spider veins are practically a microscopic sized vein cluster and are of no physiologic consequence. Feel free to have them treated.

Disclaimer: The information found on this website is intended to be general medical information; it is not a medical diagnosis or medical advice. Specific medical advice can only be given with full knowledge of all of the facts and circumstances of your health situation. You should seek consultation with a doctor familiar with your medical condition. Posting a question on this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public; do not include confidential information in your question.