Injection sclerotherapy

What is Injection sclerotherapy?

Injection sclerotherapy is a form of treatment where a substance is injected into the veins causing them to shrink. It is commonly used to treat both spider veins and varicose veins.

Injection sclerotherapy is virtually non-invasive, requiring a small injection at set points along the vein being treated. Other advantages include that it is low risk and minimally invasive, takes a short time to complete, requires no local or general anaesthetic, and causes little pain or discomfort. 

Injection sclerotherapy can be conveniently completed at Doctor Toby Cohen’s offices located at Athol Place Spring Hill. There is free parking onsite for patients. 

How does injection sclerotherapy work?

Injection sclerotherapy works by injecting the vein with a solution called Aethoxysklerol. This irritates the vessel, causing it to swell and cut off the flow of blood. The vein will eventually shrivel and be reabsorbed into the body. This technique is like saline injections but causes less pain and has an improved safety profile.

The procedure does not require anaesthesia or any special preparation.

Each injection will feel like a small pinch, followed by possible tingling when the solution enters the vein. If you feel any stinging or discomfort, please let Doctor Cohen know. During this process cotton wool will be placed on the injection site to help the two walls stick together and close off.

To ensure the best results are achieved, you will be asked to keep out of the sun for a few weeks, wear compression stockings, and remain physically active.

What are the risks of injection sclerotherapy?

Injection sclerotherapy is a safe procedure. It is less invasive and risky than surgery as it does not require anaesthesia, or a hospital stay.

Some people may experience a staining of the skin where the vein was. This can be permanent.

Around one in 200 patients will experience ulceration, which will heal but may leave a scar on the skin. In rare cases, people may experience an allergic reaction to the solution. 

What do I need to do before the appointment?

Two to six weeks prior:  

  • You must avoid direct exposure to the sun on the area being treated at least two weeks before the appointment, with four to six weeks being preferable. A sunscreen should be used (minimum 30+) or the area should be completely covered. If the area has been exposed to the sun, it is better the appointment be rescheduled for another time.  
  • Two weeks prior, do not use tanning lotions of any type and cease using any Retinol (Vitamin A) creams on the area to be treated.

Prior to your arrival:  

  • Please clean the area being treated. You must not have any moisturisers, make-up, perfume, powder, or oils on the skin in the area to be treated. 

What do I need to do after the appointment?

You may notice a slight hot and stinging sensation or tenderness in the area after your appointment. The following can be done to help relieve symptoms:

  • Apply cool compress.
  • Apply an anti-inflammatory cream.
  • Avoid any sun exposure to the area.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, hot showers, spas, and swimming pools for three days.
  • Pat the area dry with a towel, do not rub.
  • Avoid shaving, exfoliating, or scrubbing the area for seven days.

It is normal for the area to appear darker or a little bruised, with small welts or swelling occurring in the surrounding area. This should reduce in three days.

If scabbing occurs, you can apply antibiotic cream. Do not pick or scratch the area.

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