Questions & Answers

Q. What is sclerotherapy? What is microsclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the name given to treat varicose veins by the injection technique. Microsclerotherapy is the name given to treat thread veins by injection.

A solution is injected, using a very fine needle, into the vein. This solution irritates the vein wall and with the help of compression, the vein walls ‘stick’ together. You will be advised at the time of treatment, how long to keep the compression bandage and/or stockings on for.

Over a period of time, the vein will close and fade. This process may take several weeks and it is quite normal for the veins to appear worse before they look better.

Q. What about alternative treatments?

Most laser treatments are not suitable for leg veins and other 'gimmicky' type instruments used to claim removal of veins have not been successful to date.

Q. Does it hurt?

Slight discomfort is felt on injection, but because we use very fine needles, this is kept to a minimum.

Q. How many treatments will I need?

This will depend on the extent of your veins. Julie Halford will be able to advise you on the amount of treatment sessions you will require on your first visit.

Q. Will all my veins disappear?

Although most people are very satisfied with the results of treatment, sometimes it is not possible to eradicate every single vein.

Q. Will the veins come back?

The veins treated by sclerotherapy or microsclerotherapy should not recur; however, as the underlying inherent weakness of your veins still exists, new veins can appear with time. The treatment is therefore aimed at treating the current condition, with periodic future treatments being likely for most patients.

Q. Are there any side effects?

Haemosiderin staining (a form of iron stored in the blood) does sometime occur and this may take up to several months to disappear. This has the appearance of a pale brown stain near the area of injection. Very occasionally, this staining becomes permanent. The staining generally becomes darker when exposed to sun, so it is best to avoid sun exposure after treatment unless a sun block can be applied.

Telangiectatic matting can sometimes occur, especially on the inner and outer thighs. This has the appearance of a network of minute red vessels over the area injected, giving a ‘blushing’ effect. This usually disappears in time, but very occasionally can be permanent.

Q. What should I expect after treatment?

Some localized tenderness may be apparent for a few days after treatment, sometimes this may last for longer. The area should not be painful.

Initially the area treated may be itchy and inflamed. This is perfectly normal and will disappear shortly after treatment.

Avoid high impact aerobics and heavy lifting for a period of at least one week after treatment. All other sports and activities can be carried out as normal.

Q. How do I know who to go to for treatment?

It is important that you choose a competent practitioner who has been doing sclerotherapy for some time and is prepared to give you good instructions on treatment and care after treatment.

This is a medical procedure and should not be performed in a beauty salon. We often see the results of bad practice at a later stage and often the results cannot be rectified. Good compression stockings or bandages must be applied during treatment. If you have been advised that this is not so, please question why.

Good practitioners of sclerotheapy generally have a selection of before and after photographs of patients they have treated