Standard guidelines for care: Sclerotherapy in dermatology|
Khunger, Niti & Sacchidanand, S.
Definition: Sclerotherapy is defined as the targeted elimination of small vessels, varicose veins and vascular anomalies by the injection of a sclerosant. The aim of sclerotherapy is to damage the vessel wall and transform it into a fibrous cord that cannot be recanalized. It is a simple, cost-effective, efficacious and esthetically acceptable modality for both therapeutic and esthetic purposes.
Indications: Therapeutic indications include varicose veins and vascular malformations. Esthetic indications include telangiectasias and reticular veins. In the management of varicose veins, it may need to be combined with other surgical methods of treatment, such as ligation of the saphenofemoral junction, stab ligation of perforators and stripping. A surgical opinion may be necessary.
Methodology: A thorough knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the venous system of the legs, basic principles of venous insufficiency, methods of diagnosis and, in addition, uses, mechanisms of action and complications of sclerosing agents and proper compression techniques are important pre-requisites to successful sclerotherapy. Although various sclerosing agents are available, polidoconal and sodium tetradecyl sulfate are most commonly used. More recently, these sclerosants have been used in microfoam form for increased efficacy. The basic principle of a successful sclerotherapy technique is the use of an optimal volume and concentration of the sclerosant according to the size of the vessel. The sclerosant is injected carefully into the vessel and compression is applied.
Contraindications: Contraindications include superficial and deep venous thrombosis, sapheno-femoral junction incompetence, pregnancy, myocardial decompensation, migraine, hypercoagulable state, serious systemic illness, dependency edema, immobility, arterial disease, diabetes mellitus and allergic reactions to sclerosants.
Complications: While sclerotherapy is usually a safe procedure, complications may occur due to inappropriate patient selection or improper injection techniques. The complications may be acute or delayed. Complications include hyperpigmentation, matting, local urticaria, cutaneous necrosis, microthrombi, accidental intra-arterial injection, phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, thromboembolism, scintillating scotomas, nerve damage and allergic reactions.
Physician Qualification: Sclerotherapy may be administered by a surgeon or dermatologist who has acquired adequate training during post-graduation or through recognized fellowships and workshops dedicated to sclerotherapy. He should have an adequate knowledge of the anatomy of the venous system, be able to diagnose and manage venous disease and its associated consequences as well as possess the necessary skills to perform the procedures, understand the appropriate indications and limitations, technique modifications and management of the potential adverse sequelae associated with sclerotherapy and also understand the pharmacology of the sclerosing solutions.
Facility: The procedure may be performed in the physician′s procedure room.
Sclerotherapy, telangiectasia, varicose veins