It is believed that more than 23% of adults are affected by varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen and twisted veins appearing on the legs and feet. This condition occurs when faulty valves in the veins do not function properly, resulting in ineffective blood flow, or pooling.

Pregnant women and overweight people are of increased risk of developing varicose veins, with symptoms including aching legs, swollen ankles and spider veins.

Sclerotherapy utilises the injection of specific solutions into the affected veins to shrink and collapse the vein, redirecting the blood flow into healthier veins.

How does it work?
Sclerotherapy utilises a highly concentrated solution that is injected directly into the vein. The solution destroys the layer of cells that line the vein wall causing the vein to close, preventing any blood flow, causing the vein to disappear gradually.

What does it feel like?
There may be a mild burning sensation or cramping for a few minutes during the treatment of larger varicose veins.

How many treatments will I need?
Some patients may see results from as little as one treatment. However, depending on the severity of the varicose veins, you may need repeated treatments.

When will I see results?
Spider veins usually respond to the treatment in 3–6 weeks, and larger veins usually respond in 3–4 months.

How long does the treatment take?
Sclerotherapy treatments usually take 30 to 45 minutes.

Is there downtime?
Bruises at the injection site will disappear within a few weeks. Blood trapped in a treated vein can appear quite dark. This often makes the veins more noticeable in the first few weeks following treatment. Raised red areas may occur at the injection sites of small spider veins. They look like insect bites and disappear within hours. They are sometimes mildly itchy.

Aching in the leg can occur during the treatment and for the first day or two following. It is more common following the treatment of larger varicose veins and is usually relieved by walking. Oral pain killer tablets may be taken if necessary.

Blood trapping can form tender lumps along the course of treated varicose veins, and is most common in larger veins. When the blood breaks down it can leave iron behind in the skin, often seen as brown marks. Generally, they will disappear within months.

Matting refers to networks of fine red veins which develop near the injection site. Some areas resolve spontaneously while some require further treatment.

Matting is more common in patients with extensive surface veins, patients who are overweight or have a very fair complexion.

What is the aftercare?
Following each treatment, you will be required to wear a class 2 surgical compression stocking to assist closure of the veins. The length of time that the stocking needs to be worn varies from several days to two weeks depending on the size of the veins injected. It is important to adhere to the length of time
advised to achieve the best results. Compression minimises blood trapping and pigmentation, reduces the number of treatments necessary, reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and Thrombophlebitis, and reduces the incidence of recurrence.

It is mandatory to walk for at least ½ an hour per day while wearing the stocking, including the day of the procedure. Walking tends to ease aching that occasionally occurs. Swimming, cycling or low impact aerobics may be substituted. Walking keeps the risk of DVT minimal and is best maintained for 6 weeks after the treatment for large varicose veins.