What is it?
If you have visible leg veins – including fine purple spider veins, coarser reticular green veins, and large bulging varicose veins – you might want to consider sclerotherapy. It’s an extremely safe and effective way to get rid of them.
Before treating varicose veins, a Duplex scan is required to map the entire superficial venous network so that no ‘hidden’ varicosities are missed. The map provides information on the degree of venous reflux or incompetence as well as vein lumen diameter. Up to 50% of patients with fine spider veins may have associated larger vein problems that may not be immediately obvious or visible.
How does it work?
Sclerotherapy is the injection of sclerosants into abnormal veins with a fine needle. The sclerosant irritates the inner lining of the injected veins, and in combination with compression stockings, encourage the treated vein to collapse and shrivel. Blood no longer flows through the treated vessels, which over time becomes absorbed and recycled by the body. Many smaller tributaries can be simply and effectively treated with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) of varicose veins uses a fibreoptic laser to heat-ablate intraluminal vein segments. EVLA offers high efficacy with low side effects/downtime and is considered a valid alternative to surgical stripping of varicose veins. EVLA has a recanalisation (failure) rate of 5% over five years and is more effective than ultrasound guided sclerotherapy for larger diameter veins.