General Practice 2022

Sclerotherapy: what é, types and how é done

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Sclerotherapy: what é, types and how é done
Sclerotherapy: what é, types and how é done

Sclerotherapy is a treatment performed by an angiologist or dermatologist that aims to promote the elimination or reduction of veins and, therefore, is a procedure normally indicated in the treatment of varicose veins or skin vessels, for aesthetic or when it represents a risk to the person's he alth.

This procedure consists of the application of substances, such as foam or glucose, or laser directly into the vessels, which favors the redirection of blood circulation, promoting the elimination of varicose veins or spider veins.

After treatment with sclerotherapy, the treated vein tends to disappear over a few weeks, so it may take up to a month to see the final result.This treatment can also be used in other cases of dilated veins, such as hemorrhoids or hydrocele, for example, although it is rarer.

Types of sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy can be classified into some types according to the material that is used to promote the elimination of varicose veins. Thus, the main types of sclerotherapy are:

  • Glucose Sclerotherapy: Also known as injection sclerotherapy, it is especially used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. It is done with the injection of glucose directly into the vein, which causes irritation and inflammation of the vessel, resulting in scars that end up closing it;
  • Laser Sclerotherapy: is a technique most used to eliminate spider veins from the face, trunk and legs. In this type, the doctor uses a small laser to increase the temperature of the vessel and cause its destruction. Because it uses laser, it is a more expensive procedure;
  • Foam Sclerotherapy: This type is mostly used in thick varicose veins. For this, the doctor injects a small amount of carbon dioxide foam that irritates the varicose vein, causing it to develop scars and become more disguised in the skin.

The type of sclerotherapy should be discussed with the angiologist or dermatologist, as it is important to evaluate all the characteristics of the skin and the varicose vein itself, in order to choose the type with the best result for each case.

When is indicated

Sclerotherapy can be done for aesthetic purposes, but also when varicose veins pose a risk to the person. In very dilated veins, blood flow is slower, which can lead to clot formation and, later, thrombosis can be established.

Sclerotherapy can be indicated by the dermatologist or angiologist in almost all cases of spider veins and varicose veins, however, as it is an invasive method, it should only be used when other methods, such as the use of elastic stockings, cannot decrease varicose veins.Therefore, one should always discuss with the doctor the possibility of starting this type of treatment.

Ideally, the person who is going to undergo sclerotherapy should not be overweight, because this way it is possible to guarantee better healing and the appearance of other spider veins.

How it's made

On the day before sclerotherapy, it is recommended to avoid waxing or applying creams to the area where the treatment will be performed, as it can interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment, in addition to increasing the risk of side effects. Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure that lasts an average of 30 minutes and does not require general anesthesia or hospitalization, however some people may request the application of an anesthetic ointment at the injection site.

In the case of sclerotherapy with glucose and foam, the doctor injects these substances directly into the vessel, which can cause a burning sensation at the site. In the case of laser sclerotherapy, there is the emission of a light that promotes an increase in temperature within the varicose veins, which stimulates the displacement to another vessel and destruction and reabsorption of the vessel by the body.

The number of sclerotherapy sessions varies greatly according to each case. Therefore, while in some cases only one sclerotherapy session may be necessary, there are cases in which other sessions may be necessary until the desired result is obtained. The thicker and more visible the varicose veins to be treated, the greater the number of sessions needed.

Possible side effects

Sclerotherapy is considered a safe procedure, however it is possible that some side effects may arise after the procedure is performed, such as a burning sensation in the area immediately after the injection, which tends to disappear in a few hours, formation of small blisters at the site, dark spots on the skin, bruises, which arise when the veins are very fragile and tend to disappear spontaneously, swelling and allergic reactions to the substance used in the treatment.

Care after sclerotherapy

After sclerotherapy, it is important to take some precautions to avoid possible side effects and to guarantee the results of the procedure.Thus, it is recommended to wear an elastic compression stocking during the day for 2 to 3 weeks or according to the doctor's advice, avoid shaving in the first 24 hours after treatment, avoid doing exhaustive physical activity for 2 weeks and avoid exposure solar for 2 weeks.

Although the treatment is effective, sclerotherapy does not prevent the formation of new varicose veins, and therefore if there are no general care such as always using elastic stockings and avoiding standing or sitting for a long time, other varicose veins may appear.

How to prevent varicose veins from coming back

It is important after sclerotherapy to take some precautions to prevent varicose veins from appearing again, such as:

  • Avoid wearing high heels every day, as it can compromise circulation;
  • Avoid being overweight;
  • Perform physical activities with professional supervision, because depending on the exercise, there may be greater tension in the vessels;
  • Wear elastic compression stockings, especially after glucose sclerotherapy;
  • Sit or lie down with legs up;
  • Avoid sitting all day;
  • Stop smoking;
  • Seek medical advice before using birth control pills.

Other care that should be taken after sclerotherapy is the use of moisturizers, sunscreen, avoiding depilation and exposing the treated area to the sun so that stains do not appear.

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