What is Sclerotherapy treatment for Varicose Veins? | Vein Health Clinic

Welcome to the first in a series of vein educational videos I’m doctor Paras and this is Vein Health medical clinic. Today we’re going to talk about sclerotherapy it’s one of the most common questions I get at the practice “What is sclerotherapy?” Sclerotherapy is a procedure to treat veins of different sizes it is made up of the word sclero and therapy. So what is sclero? Sclero is the Greek word for hard or to harden and therapy of course is a word that relates to treatment. So what are we actually hardening? With varicose vein treatment the aim of the treatment is to actually harden the vein and we can do that by using a special solution called a sclerosant and if you notice the word sclerosis is also in that word, but basically what we’re doing is we’re injecting a special solution that damages the vein on the inside and it causes a hardening of the vein. Once the vein is are sclerosed or hardened it’ll go through a process of absorption that may take a few months, it may even take up to 12 months, but the gradual process of absorption of the vein means that it will eventually disappear. So the next time you hear the word sclerotherapy you know that it’s referring to a treatment that is designed to harden the vein so that the body can then eventually absorb it. So another important question is what is the solution that we’re injecting what is a sclerosant what is it made of? Sclerosants have been around for the last 50 or 60 years, they’re a special chemical solution that actually has detergent properties. Now it sounds a bit confusing injecting a detergent into your veins, but essentially what this particular type of detergent chemical does, is it works on the vein on the inside or the vein lining that we refer to as the intima it damages the internal lining and it creates a process by which the vein will actually collapse and once that vein is actually collapsed it’ll then go through a process of hardening that we refer to as sclerosis. Sso sclerosis is a solution that causes hardening of the vein. So it all sounds really simple, just inject some solution into a vein harden it up and let body absorb it. It isn’t. Doctors that perform this procedure require many years of extensive training in fact there’s a college now that’s set up to actually train doctors and the expected minimum for doctors who are performing sclerotherapy is a certificate in sclerotherapy. So it’s not just about taking a needle and injecting it into a vein and hoping that the vein will close. It’s understanding how the veins actually connect together. and how treating one vein or one segment will affect others. So what do doctors actually need to be a good sclerotherapist. At a bare minimum they need the qualifications, they need excellent hand-eye coordination, they need the right equipment, and of course they need the right solution. The doctor needs to understand what type of solution they’re injecting, at what concentration, and in what amount of that solution they need to inject into the vein. And often how fast they inject the solution into the vein. All these factors have a critical role to play in how veins are treated. Understanding how to treat veins and having the appropriate training and qualifications minimizes the complications of sclerotherapy. The biggest issue we have in this country and abroad, is that side effects and complications of a simple procedure are often too high. To minimize complications you need to follow the important steps as a doctor, you need to have those qualifications, you need to have that training, and need to understand what the solution does and how it works. So I’d like to thank you once again for joining me today we discussed sclerotherapy, what it is, what the importance of understanding how to treat patients with sclerotherapy, understanding some of the qualifications and important requirements. If you have any further questions please visit www.veinhealth.com.au or give us a call [Music]

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