Sclerotherapy of the veins of the lower extremities is one of the ways to eliminate vascular defects in the legs. In medical practice, this procedure is known as compression phlebosclerosis. It is very popular because it is considered an effective and painless way to get rid of varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy – what is it?
During this procedure, special preparations are introduced into the bed of the deformed vessel, which “solder” it. This manipulation has several varieties:
- Sclerotherapy of the veins of the lower extremities is carried out using a syringe with a thin needle. Such a procedure is prescribed to eliminate spider veins and pathological formations, the size of which does not exceed 2 mm.
- Echosclerotherapy, in which an ultrasound scan is performed simultaneously with the administration of the drug. Thanks to this, the phlebologist can control the location of the needle. The doctor is guaranteed to inject the drug into the area where the deformed vein is located. Such sclerotherapy is an effective way to get rid of deeply located vessels.
- The foam-form method, which involves the introduction of drugs with a fine structure into the bed of the affected vein of the lower extremities. This procedure helps to eliminate even large deformed vessels.
Vein sclerosing agent
To eliminate this pathology, phlebologists use special medicines, which can be divided into three groups:
- Detergents – preparations based on sodium tetradecyl sulfate. They damage the inner surface of blood vessels, exposing their basement membrane collagen fibers. As a result, the veins stick together. Medicines of this group “cement” in just a few seconds. The most commonly used drugs are: Thrombovar, Sotradekol, Fibro-Vane.
- Hyperosmotic drugsthat promote dehydration of the endothelium. Unlike detergents, they do not have immediate results. The first signs of impact on the deformed vessel are visible approximately 5 minutes after the administration of the drug. The maximum effect is achieved only half an hour to an hour after the procedure. More often, such a medicine is used for sclerosing the veins of the legs: Sodium salicylate, sodium chloride solution.
- Corrosion preparations – they simultaneously affect both the inner and outer wall of the vein. Such drugs of this group are more often used: Ethoxysclerol, Variglobin, Shotin’s solution.
Sclerotherapy – indications and contraindications
This procedure has its own characteristics. Sclerosis of the veins in the legs has its own indications for implementation. This therapy can be used both at the initial stage of the pathology, and with the advanced form of the disease. In the latter case, the procedure is used simultaneously with other manipulations, due to which a complex effect occurs and the effect is achieved faster. This therapy also has contraindications.
Sclerotherapy – indications
This procedure has a wide range of uses. Vein sclerotherapy has the following indications:
Sclerotherapy – contraindications
Although this procedure is considered effective and safe, it is not for everyone. Vein sclerosis has absolute and relative contraindications. The first group includes:
- pregnancy and lactation;
- severe forms of liver and kidney failure;
- intolerance to the drug used for gluing the veins of the lower extremities;
- thrombophlebitis and thrombosis of blood vessels;
- pulmonary and heart failure;
- inflammatory processes that occur in the area of u200bu200bthe skin where injections are to be made.
Among the relative contraindications to the implementation of sclerotherapy, the following factors are distinguished:
- elderly age;
- alcohol addiction treatment;
- pregnancy planning in the next 1-1.5 years;
- long-term use of hormonal drugs.
How is vein sclerotherapy performed?
Before performing this procedure, the phlebologist conducts a diagnostic examination of the patient. This allows the specialist to identify the stage of varicose pathology and determine the most optimal method for eliminating the problem. The preparatory stage is easy. The patient should adhere to the following restrictions 2 days before the procedure:
- Avoid alcohol-containing drinks and smoking.
- Do not do cosmetic procedures that can lead to skin injury (for example, we are talking about depilation).
- Stop taking medications that thin the blood.
Sclerotherapy of the lower extremities involves a certain number of injections (they can be from 3 to 20 per procedure). The interval between individual sessions should be a week. Sclerotherapy of the veins of the lower extremities lasts about half an hour. It is carried out in several stages:
- The patient lies down on the couch. During this procedure, it is desirable that the legs are slightly higher than the body. This will create an outflow of blood from the lower extremities and allow the sclerosant introduced into the vessel to act more efficiently.
- A thin needle of a syringe is inserted intravenously into the places predetermined by the phlebologist. In this case, the doctor firmly presses the area 4 cm above and below the injection with his fingers and injects 1 ml of the drug.
- The needle is removed, and a sterile napkin is applied to the place where the injection was made.
- So gradually do all the injections planned for the procedure.
- The patient lies for another 10 minutes, while making active movements in the knee and ankle joints. This is necessary in order to reduce the pressure in the veins.
- The phlebologist applies an elastic bandage to the lower limbs and gives recommendations to the patient for the recovery period.
Sclerotherapy – does it hurt?
During the procedure, the patient may feel a burning sensation and slight discomfort. In most cases, pain does not occur. Sclerotherapy on the legs is performed using a very thin needle (the same used in insulin syringes). Puncture it does not cause pain. And the heaviness that appeared after the manipulation does not create discomfort. Over the next 3-6 months, it resolves.
Sclerosis of the veins in the legs – complications
This reaction is very rare. Even if the sclerosis of the veins of the lower extremities was performed by an experienced specialist, he will not be able to give an absolute guarantee that complications will not arise. The most common side effects are:
- thrombophlebitis develops;
- there is a burn of internal tissues located next to the vessels that were subjected to “adhesion”;
- blood clots are formed due to the contact of the administered drugs with the blood.
Sclerotherapy of veins – consequences
There may be minor complications after the procedure. They are the response of the body to the ongoing intervention, so if they occur, you should not panic. Moreover, these effects are temporary. After the sclerosis of the vein on the legs is completed, the following phenomena may be observed:
- 1-2 hours after the injection, severe itching occurs at the puncture sites of the skin. In some cases, such discomfort lasts for several days, and then passes.
- At the injection site, the skin begins to peel off. This reaction is observed in only one out of a hundred patients. Peeling disappears approximately 2 weeks after vein sclerosis.
- The skin turns darker in the treated area. Most of the time it goes away on its own after a couple of months.
- An allergic reaction occurs. To cope with it, prescribe the use of antihistamines. The next time, sclerotherapy of deformed veins of the lower extremities is carried out using a different drug.
- Due to improper bandaging, the legs swell. Compression stockings solve this problem.
Sclerotherapy or laser therapy – which is better?
Both the first and second methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Sclerotherapy of spider veins is more often in demand. This method is more considered as a cosmetic procedure. Laser therapy deals with more serious problems. The final decision in choosing an effective method of dealing with varicose veins is more reasonable to entrust to a phlebologist.