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Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Last updated Jan. 22, 2019

DoveMed.com

Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins is used in the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins.


Background Information:

What are the other Names for the Procedure?

  • Sclerotherapy of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
  • Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Sclerotherapy

What is Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure? (General Explanation)

  • Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins is a minimally invasive procedure. It is used in the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins
  • Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the affected veins, which causes it to shrink and disappear

What part of the Body does the Procedure involve?

Varicose veins and spider veins are usually found in the lower extremities, thus the procedure involves the lower extremities.

Why is the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure Performed?

Sclerotherapy is used to treat varicose veins and spider veins.

What is the Equipment used? (Description of Equipment)

  • No equipment is used in the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure, as it only involves injecting a solution into the affected veins
  • A thin needle is used to inject the solution

What are the Recent Advances in the Procedure?

  • There have been no recent advances in the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins.

What is the Cost of performing the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

The cost of Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of your health insurance, annual deductibles, co-pay requirements, out-of-network and in-network of your healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.

In many cases, an estimate may be provided before the procedure. The final amount depends upon the findings during the surgery/procedure and post-operative care that is necessary. 

When do you need a Second Opinion, prior to the Procedure?

  • It is normal for a patient to feel uncomfortable and confused with a sudden inflow of information regarding the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedures and what needs to be done
  • If the patient needs further reassurance or a second opinion, a physician will almost always assist in recommending another physician
  • Also, if the procedure involves multiple steps or has many alternatives, the patient may take a second opinion to understand and choose the best one. They can also choose to approach another physician independently

What are some Helpful Resources?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25650651 (assessed on 3/6/2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25594661 (assessed on 3/6/2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25589597 (assessed on 3/6/2015)

Prior to Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology Procedure:

How does the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure work?

  • During the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure, a special sclerosing solution is injected into the spider veins or varicose veins
  • This solution irritates the lining of the vein and makes it to swell and stick together. Eventually, the vein turns into scars, a process called sclerosis, and they disappear after a few weeks

How is the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure Performed?

Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins are performed as outpatient procedures.

  • A very fine needle is used to inject the sclerosing solution into the spider or varicose vein
  • More than one needle stick may be needed, if the treatment involves multiple or large spider or varicose vein

Where is the Procedure Performed?

Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins is performed as an outpatient procedure, at a hospital.

Who Performs the Procedure?

An interventional radiologist or vascular surgeon performs the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure.

How long will the Procedure take?

  • The Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure usually takes about 30 minutes
  • It may take longer depending upon the number and size of the spider/varicose veins

Who interprets the Result?

An interventional radiologist or vascular surgeon may follow up after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins to check the treatment outcome.

What Preparations are needed, prior to the Procedure?

Following preparations are needed prior to Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure.

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient, including information related to the medications that are currently being taken
  • Do inform the medical professional if you have a history of any medical conditions such as a heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • Patient may be asked to stop taking blood thinning medications, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, heparin, and warfarin, several days before the procedure
  • Patient should inform their physician if they are allergic to any medications, especially to local anesthetic medications, contrast material, and general anesthesia
  • Women should notify the physician if they are pregnant or breastfeeding their child, as many such procedures may not be performed on pregnant women
  • Patients should bring pair of shorts to wear after the procedure

What is the Consent Process before the Procedure?

A physician will request your consent for Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins using an Informed Consent Form.

Consent for the Procedure: A “consent” is your approval to undergo a procedure. A consent form is signed after the risks and benefits of the procedure, and alternative treatment options, are discussed. This process is called informed consent. 

You must sign the forms only after you are totally satisfied by the answers to your questions. In case of minors and individuals unable to personally give their consent, the individual’s legal guardian or next of kin, shall give their consent for the procedure.

What are the Benefits versus Risks, for this Procedure?

Following are the benefits of the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure:

  • Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive, very low risk procedure compared to a vascular surgery
  • The success rate of eliminating varicose veins or spider veins using sclerotherapy is very high

Following are the risks of the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure:

  • There is a small risk of developing skin infection, as the skin is penetrated during the procedure
  • Some patients may develop severe allergic reaction to the sclerosing solution used during the procedure
  • There is a risk of blood clots being formed in the veins being treated

What are the Limitations of the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

  • Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are bedridden cannot undergo Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure
  • Sclerotherapy is not as effective for treating large varicose veins

What are some Questions for your Physician?

Some of the basic questions that you might ask your healthcare provider or physician are as follows:

  • What are Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedures?
  • Why is this procedure necessary? How will it help?
  • How soon should I get it done? Is it an emergency?
  • Who are the medical personnel involved in this procedure?
  • Where is the procedure performed?
  • What are the risks while performing the procedure?
  • What are the complications that might take place during recovery?
  • What are the possible side effects from the procedure? How can I minimize these side effects?
  • How long will it take to recover? When can I resume normal work?
  • How many such procedures have you (the physician) performed?
  • Are there any lifestyle restrictions or modifications required after the procedure is performed?
  • Are there any follow-up tests, periodic visits to the healthcare facility required after the procedure?
  • Is there any medication that needs to be taken for life after the procedure?
  • What are the costs involved?

During the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure:

What is to be expected during the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

  • The patient may experience slight pain from the needle stick used to inject sclerosing solution during the sclerotherapy procedure
  • Cramping sensation lasting for a few minutes is normally felt when the solution is being injected into the veins

What kind of Anesthesia is given, during the Procedure?

Local anesthetic may be used during the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedures.

How much Blood will you lose, during the Procedure?

Since Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins are minimally invasive procedures, the blood loss involved during the procedure is minimal.

What are the possible Risks and Complications during the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

  • Some patients develop severe allergic reaction to the sclerosing solution used during the procedure
  • There is a risk of developing blood clots in the veins being treated

What Post-Operative Care is needed at the Healthcare Facility after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

No specific post-operative care is needed at the healthcare facility after Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedures.

After the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure:

What is to be expected after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

The patient may experience several side effects after Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins.

  • The areas of injection site may become red and swollen for a few days after the procedure
  • Sclerotherapy may cause large veins to become lumpy and hard for several months, before they turn into scars
  • Brown spots may be seen at the injection sites, which may disappear in about 6 months. But, in a small number of patients, these spots may stay permanently
  • Spider veins take about a month to respond to sclerotherapy, while large veins may take several months to respond to sclerotherapy

When do you need to call your Physician?

Patients may need to call their physician in the following situations after Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins:

  • If the injection site looks red, warm, inflamed, and accompanied with high fever
  • If the patient develops an allergic reaction to the sclerosing solution used during the procedure

What Post-Operative Care is needed at Home after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

Patients are recommended to use compression stockings or support hosiery after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure.

How long does it normally take to fully recover, from the Procedure?

Patients can resume their normal activities immediately after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure. However, they must observe the following:

  • Avoid activities that are physically tiresome for a while
  • Wear the compression bandage as advised by the healthcare provider
  • Avoid direct sun exposure on the affected areas

Additional Information:

What happens to tissue (if any), taken out during the Procedure?

Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure does not involve the removal of any body tissue.

When should you expect results from the pathologist regarding tissue taken out, during the Procedure?

Since no tissue is removed during the procedure, a pathologist does not get involved in the care of the patient.

Who will you receive a Bill from, after the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins radiology procedure?

It is important to note that the number of bills that the patient may receive depends on the arrangement the healthcare facility has with the physician and other healthcare providers.

Sometimes, the patient may get a single bill that includes the healthcare facility and the consultant physician charges. Sometimes, the patient might get multiple bills depending on the healthcare provider involved. For instance, the patient may get a bill from:

  • The hospital, where the procedure is performed
  • Healthcare providers, physicians, and radiologists, who are involved in the process

The patient is advised to inquire and confirm the type of billing, before the Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins procedure is performed.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 24, 2015
Last updated: Jan. 22, 2019