Vein Services

Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy


Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy?

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, like visual sclerotherapy, is a technique used to treat unwanted veins. Sclerotherapy is a technique that involves injecting a medication, called a sclerosant, into varicose veins. As the name suggests, an ultrasound is used to help provide visual guidance during the sclerotherapy procedure. We use two different sclerosants at Tennessee Vein Center: sodium tetradecyl sulfate and polidocanol. Both of these sclerosants have been approved by the FDA for treatment of varicose veins and safely used for many years.

Here at Tennessee Vein Center ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is used either alone or in conjunction with other modalities, like endovenous laser ablation, to treat varicose veins. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is a versatile option for treating many different types of varicose veins: small, large, twisted and bulging, or straight. The benefits of ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy are numerous and include:

  • It is minimally invasive
  • No incisions
  • Most people return to their normal activity same day
  • You do not need a driver after your appointment
Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy?

How does Sclerotherapy work?

As mentioned before, sclerotherapy is a technique that involves injecting medication directly into a varicose vein. This medication irritates the lining of the vein wall, causing the walls to shrink and stick together. This procedure reroutes the blood flow to normal functioning veins nearby. The closed down veins are gradually broken down and dissolved by your body following the sclerotherapy procedure. This treatment has been used for decades with great success to treat varicose veins.

What to expect

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy involves a pre-treatment ultrasound, called a mapping, to determine the location and extent of your varicose veins. Local anesthesia is used to numb the skin surface and help make the procedure more comfortable. A needle is used to access the vein, a technique similar to starting an IV or donating blood. During this time the ultrasound machine provides us a visual of the veins, and is our “eyes” for the procedure. Once placement of the needle into the vein is confirmed, the sclerosant is injected into the veins and its progression is watched on ultrasound to ensure complete treatment. Since the veins may not all connect to each other, multiple injection sites during a single treatment are often needed in order to completely treat veins.

After treatment care

Immediately after treatment we have our patients either walk or lay with their legs elevated for 10 minutes. Compression socks need to be applied before leaving the office. For the next week we expect you to:

  • Stay active and walk at least 20 minutes, twice daily
  • Wear your compression socks
  • Avoid hot tubs, saunas, or hot baths – warm showers are ok
  • Avoid unusual or extremely strenuous activities that are outside your norm
Before & After

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