Complications of Sclerotherapy

Dr Paul Varcoe Google + - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What are some of the complications of sclerotherapy?Sclerotherapy there is one side effect that cannot be avoided and that is allergy. Fortunately this is a very rare side effect of vein treatment with the occurrence quoted at 1 case per 5 -10,000 treatments. If it does occur it is invariably very soon after treatment when the patient is still at the clinic and remedial measures are simple and effective. I personally have not seen an allergic reaction in the past 8 years. Interestingly, this was when the manufacturer changed the manufacturing process so I suspect that it was a substance used in the formulation of the product and not the product itself that patients had an allergic reaction to. An annoying side effect that occurs in some patients is pigmentation. This is due to the iron breakdown product of blood staining the skin. Fortunately severe cases are not common.

Patients at risk are those who have particularly large varicose veins, especially over the thigh and those who have had previous surgery to their veins. It is more frequent in patients who have Asian background and also those patients who have darker skin. There are various measures that can be taken to avoid this complication. Another side effect which is severe but fortunately quite rare is Deep Vein Thrombosis and subsequent Pulmonary Embolism. There are various technical ways that are used in the procedure that minimise the risk of this happening. What is always important in discussing side effects is that you are totally aware of what they might be and that you have adequate information that will alert you if anything problematic is occurring. Of course it is important that the treating doctor is always available should a patient have any concerns. This is why all patients at The Leg Vein Clinic get my home and mobile number in case they have any concerns at any stage after their treatment.

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