Vein Treatments are Painful!

Dr Paul Varcoe Google + - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A question that I am often asked is "Are vein treatments painful?". Like anything to do with pain the response of patients is entirely subjective. There are however some observations that may be helpful. It certainly depends on the procedure as to the amount of discomfort that the "average" person will feel. For Endovenous Ablation the actual procedure of ablating the veins is painless however there is a requirement for local  anaesthetic to be injected to enable it to be pain free. Of course local anaesthetic injections are not without some discomfort but most patients rank this around 2 -3 out of 10 on a Pain Score (0 = no pain, 10 = excruciating pain). For Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy most patients also rate this procedure from 2 -3 which is also the same rating for Microscleroptherapy for 1 leg but increases to be 3-4 for 2 legs (more injections required!) For almost everyone this degree of discomfort is very tolerable. Interestingly for Microscleroptherapy (which invariably takes around 30 - 45 minutes) a phenomenon known as the Pain Gate helps. What this means in practical terms is that after the pain receptors are full the level of pain felt by a patient decreases as not as much pain gets through the "gate". Also the newer substances used for Microsclerotherapy have greatly reduced the discomfort felt by patients as the older saline solutions were very painful.

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