Used commonly for spider or flare veins and small varicose veins on legs, also used for the treatment of facial veins. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a small volume of a liquid into the affected vein. The sclerosing liquid acts upon the lining of the vein to cause it to seal shut, eliminating the vein completely. Sclerotherapy can be quickly performed at our clinic and no anaesthesia is required.
For minor pain from Varicose veins, a compression stocking may be beneficial. The compression stocking will assist the leg in pumping of blood back to the heart. While the discomfort felt by the sufferer may be reduced, compression stockings will not cure the problem.
Historically, the only treatment for large varicose veins has been to surgically remove or ‘strip’ the vein from the body. Surgical stripping is done in an operating theatre under general or regional anaesthesia and may require a considerable recovery period for the patient. More recently, a modified version of stripping, known as ambulatory phlebectomy has grown in use. In this version of surgical stripping, multiple incisions are made to hook and remove the vein one portion at a time. More incisions are made than in standard vein stripping, but the damage to the leg and post-surgery recovery time are reduced.
Over the past 10 years minimally invasive (key hole) techniques have been developed to heat and seal the vein from the inside. This is called Endovenous Laser Therapy or Radio-frequency ablation and has become the preferred method of treatment amongst vascular surgeons.
In endovenous therapy, the patient only needs a local anaesthetic. A thin laser fibre or heating coil is inserted into the diseased vein, generally through a small puncture around the knee. Heat energy is directed to the vein wall which causes the vein to close shut. This prevents the abnormal flow of blood down the leg.
Endovenous therapy can be performed in a clinic or surgery in about an hour, and the patient is encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure.