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Sclerotherapy

medical illustration showing sclerotherapy | LaserMed Skin and Vein ClinicSclerotherapy is a medical procedure that has been in use since the 1930s. However, the first reported sclerotherapy endeavor was in 1682 by D Zollikofer in Switzerland. The technique involved an injection of acid into the troubled vein to induce a blood clot (thrombus) formation. Like varicose vein surgery, sclerotherapy techniques have evolved since that time. The latest developments for modern techniques are ultrasonographic guidance and foam sclerotherapy. Today, an injection is administered into the vessels to make them shrink. Sclerotherapy is also used to treat the lymphatic system in both children and young adults.

Should you get a Sclerotherapy?

Consultation with a dermatologist or vascular medicine expert is highly recommended before deciding on getting a sclerotherapy. The specialist can establish whether or not you should have the procedure. On the other hand, a sclerotherapy is not recommended if you have any of the following conditions:

  • If you are pregnant
  • If the troubled vein is possibly functional for future heart bypass surgery
  • If you have a history of blood clots and your overall health of the area is in question

The Procedure

During sclerotherapy a solution is injected into the bothersome vein. Typically the injection is a salt solution or an irritant. Rendering to WebMD, the preferred solution aggravates the lining of the blood vessel. The irritation causes the area to bind together and swell, which in turn forms a blood clot. Over a certain amount of time, the blood vessel converts into scar tissue that eventually fades away.

The procedure is relatively painless. It is an outpatient procedure and is performed in the doctor’s office by a surgeon or dermatologist. The injection itself is mildly uncomfortable with possible mild cramping for a couple of minutes. The overall procedure lasts about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of veins needing treatment and the location of the veins. As well, your overall health plays a big factor in the time needed for the procedure.

Prior to a Sclerotherapy

Before you have a sclerotherapy, there are certain medications to avoid. As well, over the counter drugs, supplements and herbs can affect the procedure. As a rule, it is best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist beforehand. Some physicians even discourage you from taking ibuprofen, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications for 48-72 hours before sclerotherapy. If you are on any antibiotic, consult your doctor before taking. As well, lotion applied to the area is prohibited. For optimum conditions and comfort, it is recommended that you wear shorts.

Side Effects

According to MedicineNet, some patients that undergo the procedure can have adverse side effects such as:

  • Brown spots or lines at the vein area (last 3-6 months)
  • Rare ulcer formation around the injection site (superficial thrombophlebitis)
  • New spider vein formation near the treated area (generally gone after 6 months)
  • Larger injected veins may become hard and lumpy (dissolves within a few months)
  • Hyperpigmentation – dark discoloration of the injected area (disappearing within 6 months)
  • New small blood vessels at vein area, appears a few days or weeks after procedure. (gone within 3 -12 months)


Mild side effects include itching (lasting 2-3 days), light red coloration, slight swelling and mild bruising.

LaserMed Skin and Vein Clinic

The friendly and professional staff at LaserMed Skin and Vein Clinic is dedicated to delivering the best service and customer care in skin and vein clinic industry. In fact, the staff’s cumulative experience and kindness for every client’s health and happiness create a caring and honorable atmosphere for everybody.

What is more, each individual of Jean Chapman, M.D.’s team is more than pleased to accommodate your experience by helping with all your questions and concerns. Our clinic is conveniently located in Alpharetta, Georgia which is a suburb of Atlanta, GA.

Note: This article is not meant as a replacement for professional medical advice. For further information about the procedures involved with a sclerotherapy, schedule an appointment at LaserMed Skin and Vein Clinic with Jean Chapman, M.D.

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