Varicose Veins (cont.)

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What are potential side effects and complications of sclerotherapy?

In about 10% to %30% of patients treated with sclerotherapy, dark discoloration of the injected area may occur (hyperpigmentation). This usually happens because of disintegration of the red blood cells in the treated blood vessel. In the majority of cases, this discoloration will completely go away within 6 months.

Another potential problem is the formation of new spider veins near the area that was treated with sclerotherapy. This can happen in about 20% of patients, but these new vessels also typically disappear within 6 months.

Rare complications may include the formation of an ulcer around the injection site or the formation of small blood clots in the small surface veins (superficial thrombophlebitis).

Is sclerotherapy safe for everyone with varicose and spider veins?

Sclerotherapy is generally safe for most people for the treatment of varicose and spider veins. However, in certain groups of people, such as those individuals who are unable to walk (non-ambulatory), sclerotherapy should be avoided. Other contraindications for undergoing sclerotherapy include obesity, blood clots in the deeper veins, allergy to the sclerosing agent, pregnancy, and arterial obstruction (blocked blood flow in the artery near the varicose vein).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2012

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