Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure to treat uncomplicated spider veins. The treatment involves the injection of a solution, called Asclera®, into the affected veins. Asclera® is a sclerosing agent that is injected into the vein. It works by damaging the endothelium, the cells lining the inside of blood vessels. This causes blood platelets and cellular debris to attach to the lining of the vessels; eventually, cellular debris and platelets cause the blood vessel to clot. Over time, the clotted vein will be replaced with tissue.
Spider veins are very small and very fine red or blue veins. They are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like a thin red line, tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and may cover a small or large area. Spider and reticular veins can be caused by many factors.
- Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them. Approximately half of the people who get varicose veins have a family history of them.
- Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
- Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within 3 to 12 months following delivery.
- Overweight and obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
- Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart.
A typical sclerotherapy session lasts 15 to 45 minutes. One injection is usually administered per inch with multiple injections per session. Following treatment compression stockings or support hose should be worn continuously for 2-3 days and for 2-3 weeks during the day time. Repeat sessions may be necessary. If additional treatment sessions are required they are usually reparated by 1-2 weeks.
Problem or Condition
What should I expect after being treated with Asclera®?
Maintain graduated compression
- 2-3 days after treatment of spider veins
- 5-7 days after treatment of reticular veins
- For extensive varicosities, longer compression treatment is recommended
- Post-treatment compression is necessary to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
- 15-20 minutes immediately after treatment
- Daily for a few days
What should I avoid after receiving an Asclera® Injection?
For two to three days following the treatment, avoid (if you are uncertain, please ask your healthcare provider):
- Heavy exercise
- Long plane flights
- Hot bath or sauna
Are there any possible side effects to Asclera® treatments?
Yes, they may include:
- Severe allergic reactions have been reported following polidocanol use, including anaphylactic reactions, some of them fatal. Severe reactions are most frequent with use of larger volumes (> 3 mL). The dose of polidocanol should therefore be minimized. A doctor should be prepared to treat anaphylaxis appropriately.
- In rare cases, formation of small “burns” or ulcers form, usually due to leakage of Asclera®into the skin. They heal in time, but may leave a scar.
- Inadvertent perivascular injection of Asclera® can cause pain. If pain is severe, a local anesthetic (without adrenaline) may be injected.
You should tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including:
- Prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal products
You should not be treated with Asclera® if you:
- Have a known allergy to polidocanol
- Have an acute vein or blood clotting (thromboembolic) disease
- Are pregnant or nursing
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