Get Your Answers
Most people have no reason to research or learn anything about vein issues unless it becomes a problem for them personally. Dr. Malo has compiled answers to common questions and concerns regarding vein treatments. If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an effective, safe and easy way to eliminate visible surface veins. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat both varicose and spider veins. It consists of a series of injections, performed by Dr. Malo himself, where a tiny needle is used to inject the veins with a medication that irritates the lining of the vein. In response, the veins collapse and are reabsorbed. The surface veins are no longer visible. Sclerotherapy relieves symptoms due to varicose and spider veins in most patients. With this procedure, veins can be dealt with at an early stage, helping to prevent further complications.
You may need anywhere from one to several sclerotherapy sessions for any vein region. Depending on the type and number of veins being treated, you may have one or many injections per session. Medically prescribed support hose and/or bandages may need to be worn for a while to assist in resolution of the veins.
The procedure, performed in the doctor's office, usually causes only minimal discomfort. Bruising and pigmentation may occur after sclerotherapy; bruising typically disappears within 1-2 weeks. Although pigmentation almost always fades, it can last for several months. Scarring and other complications are rare.
What should I expect at my first visit?
At your first visit, you will be questioned regarding your medical history. With the evaluation and treatment methods available today, spider and varicose veins can be treated at a previously unattainable level of effectiveness and safety. Dr. Malo will perform an examination and, if needed, will initiate diagnostic investigations. You will then be informed of the treatments required to improve your condition. Please do not hesitate to ask questions.
How many sessions do I need?
Sclerotherapy involves a series of injection treatments scheduled in a minimum 3-week interval. At your first visit, Dr. Malo will indicate the number of sessions you will need. Each treatment requires only 10 to 15 minutes of your time. The receptionist will give you an appointment at a convenient time for your subsequent visits. After completion of your treatments, we recommend a 6-month checkup.
What are the possible side effects?
Bruising may occur following injections; this is normal. Bruises should completely disappear within 1-2 weeks. Tiny red spots may also occur at the injection site. Do not be alarmed – they will also disappear within 3-4 weeks. Occasionally a tender cord or a lump may be felt along the area of a treated vein. This is not phlebitis; it is simply the vein closing and it will disappear along with the varicose vein.
To relieve discomfort, exercise and apply warm, wet compresses. In rare instances, the skin remains darker along a treated vein, although in most cases, it will slowly regain its normal pigmentation. Some spots may become permanent. Ask Dr. Malo about it.
Are there complications?
Despite our detailed history and examination, there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction. This rare complication may range from a slight tingling sensation with red blotches on the skin to an anaphylactic reaction. Exceptionally rare cases of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus have been reported in medical literature.
Also, there are two other rare, accidental complications that may arise from the sclerosing agent spilling into the subcutaneous tissues or being introduced into an arteriole; both result in an ulcer that will eventually leave a scar. At the slightest sign of irregularity, do not hesitate to call the clinic. The receptionist will relay your message to Dr. Malo, who will return your call as soon as possible.
What other treatments may be required for leg pains, varicose veins and spider veins (telangiectasias)?
Compression support stockings, which are now available in a variety of styles and fashion colors, are recommended. They compress the lower leg and thus lessen the swelling and the formation of new varicose veins. On occasion, surgery may be needed prior to starting sclerotherapy. Dr Malo will explain and make arrangements for surgery if it is indicated in your treatment.
What are the payment options?
The number of visits needed for your treatment can only be determined by Dr. Malo after your initial examination. At this time, it will also be determined if your treatments will be medical or cosmetic.
The Medical Service Plan (MSP) has established standards for determining medical versus cosmetic problems. If you have a cosmetic problem, you are entirely responsible for the cost. For varicose vein treatment, a nominal fee is charged directly to the patient to cover the cost of the therapeutic drugs and tensors used. Extended health insurance plans may partially cover these costs.
Did you know that heredity is responsible for 90% of varicose vein incidents?