At the Austin Clinic we treat leg veins using a procedure called Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a very safe and effective way of removing unwanted veins. There is no surgery involved and each treatment only takes half an hour and a portion can usually be claimed back from Medicare.
Sclerotherapy involves a series of injections. Each vein is injected with a very fine needle so that discomfort is minimised. The veins go into spasm after being injected and eventually shrivel up and disappear. The injection of superficial veins has very little effect on the overall venous drainage of the legs as most of the blood travels through the deep system and the veins injected are usually non-functional in any case.
Sclerotherapy can be used to treat spider veins as well as the larger blue veins which appear on the surface of the legs. Prior to having Sclerotherapy patients need to be assessed by the doctor. This includes a full history and examination of the leg veins. Usually you will need a Doppler ultrasound during the examination to exclude any serious problems. Sclerotherapy is only used to treat superficial veins. If an issue deeper in the leg is causing the superficial veins you will be referred off to have that treated first.
Depending on the number of veins you want treated you will be advised at the time of consultation whether you will need 1 or 2 treatments. In some cases not all veins will be able to be treated in 2 sessions in which case you will be able to come back and have more treated 1 month after.
You will be advised to purchase some compression stockings to wear after your treatment. The stockings must be brought along to each treatment. They are to be worn for ten days after your procedure to help compress the veins while they die off. It is advisable to purchase 2 pairs of stockings, which are available at the clinic.
You should not fly long haul within 3 weeks of having Sclerotherapy, and if driving long distances you should get out and walk around every 1-2 hours. Shaving should be avoided 48 hours prior treatment to reduce the risk of infection and moisturizer should not be used on the day of treatment.
Side effects are rare but can include allergic reactions, hyperpigmentation, local skin ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and new vein formation. New vein formation or blushing can occur adjacent to the veins injected after the use of any sclerosant and may be a sign that further injections would be unsuitable for you if this occurs. The doctor will discuss these with you at the time of consultation and determine you suitability for the procedure.
For more information on leg veins please visit www.healthylegs.com.au