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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a treatment regime which uses the injection of a chemical sclerosing agent, injected into fine vessels and capillaries that causes them to shrink and collapse.

Usually for treatments to fine spider vein’s of the legs, several treatments may be needed approximately one month apart. When using sclerotherapy to fine capillaries on the face, one or two treatments are all that may be needed.

The staff at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will give you a realistic indication of the results you can personally expect from sclerotherapy during your initial consultation.

How is the procedure performed?
After the consultation and examination of the area, it may be decided to refer you to either a laser clinic for vessels to the face that create a blush (vessels are too small to receive injection). Referral to a vascular specialist is initiated if vessels to the legs also include blue veins or varicose veins or the patient complains of achy, tired legs.

If you are an appropriate candidate we may choose to proceed with your first treatment at the same time. The areas of injection are swabbed with alcohol pads and the tip of a very fine gauge needle is inserted into the vessel and ‘flushed’ with the sclerosant. It is safe and very comfortable, particularly in comparison to treatments with saline injections which sting and may cause ulcers.

Immediately after the treatment your legs will look quite unsightly. Each needle pricked area looks like a mosquito bite and is angry in appearance (a bit red and raised). This settles down overnight and a slight bruised appearance may persist for a 2-3 week duration.

On the face, makeup or cover-up may be used to camouflage the bruising if there is any of note.

What results can I expect?
Because vessels have two walls of a muscular nature (when you are warm the vessels dilate and when you are cold the vessels constrict) the first treatment affects the inner lining and therefore may not show a marked improvement to spider veins.

The second treatment will display much more favorable results to the observer and the third treatment will tidy up any remaining vessels. Each one to two years thereafter, you may find it necessary to nip the new capillaries forming in the bud, so to speak, as genetically you are inclined to continue making spider veins for the rest of your life.

Several causal factors exists: genetic predisposition (heredity), pregnancy, heavy weight gain and livelihoods that require one to stand most of the day e.g. teachers, nurses, hairdressers etc.

How long does the procedure take?
In most cases, the entire front and back of both legs can be treated in a thirty minute appointment. Rarely, some patients require one hour. Many ‘vein clinics’ choose to treat one leg or one area at a time. However, this only increases the times necessary to come into the office and the cost to the patient. We prefer to treat both legs entirely on each visit.

No compression stockings are needed when treating the fine capillaries. When referred to a vascular specialist for veins, medical grade support stockings must be worn for approximately two weeks.

What are the risks of Sclerotherapy?
The risks associated with Sclerotherapy to fine capillaries are minimal and few. Aside from the first few days, from an unsightly appearance, bruising etc., most people notice only the slightest tenderness or discomfort. Rarely, an area of great density of fine vessels may scab and heal with a whitish scar. Occasionally, people report ‘ghosting’, a coffee coloured stain where vessels once were. Ghosting is simply the last remnants of pigment and will generally resolve within several months.

Is Sclerotherapy suitable for me?
The decision to go ahead with an aesthetic procedure is a very personal one. The first step is a consultation with one of the qualified members of staff at the Aesthetic Day Surgery. Whatever your reasons you should frankly discuss your personal goals and expectations with respect to the outcome of the procedure (both physical and emotional). As with any aesthetic procedure you should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.