Sclerotherapy: An Effective and Useful Treatment Procedure to Diagnose Varicose Veins (Spider Veins)
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment for varicose veins (it refers to veins that have become enlarged and tortuous), also known as spider veins, in which medicine is injected into the vein to make them shrink. This therapy can be performed by using sclerosants under ultrasound guidance to treat larger varicose veins. The procedure can be used along with surgery, radiofrequency and laser ablation for the treatment of varicose vein and venous malfunctions. It uses ultrasound-guided images to visualize the underlying vein that helps physician to monitor the injection.
In the varicose, veins have leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backward. Against the effects of gravity, leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs and very painful, especially when standing or walking. They often irritate, and scratching them can cause ulcer and other skin problems. So the non-surgical treatments like sclerotherapy, exercise, elastic stockings etc, are very useful to diagnose it.
During the sclerotherapy, sclerosant is injected into the varicose vein. After injection, pressure is applied over the veins to prevent blood return when patient stands up. The injection may be painful and sclerosant can cause a feeling of burning or cramping in the area. Generally, one session may be enough to get rid of the spider veins. Though probably it occurs on the legs but it can also include other parts like arms and face of the patient. With the help of newer technology, doctors are able to inject sclerosant with a catheter guided by duplex ultrasound. Now, sclerotherapy has been safer and more effective by using duplex ultrasound-guided catheter injection, because it helped to have an easy and precise access to the affected veins.