Injection therapy for varicose veins/sclerotheraphy

What is injection therapy:

In cases of minor varicose veins or stretch marks, they may be treated by injecting a substance into the blood vessels that closes them. This is often done alone or following laser surgery or standard varicose vein surgery. Usually >3 months after surgery.

Preparing for treatment

  • No fasting is required.
  • Painkillers: 1 hour before the operation , take the painkillers Panodil, Paracetamol or Paratabs 500 mg. If you weigh less than 70 kg then 2 tablets and otherwise 3 tablets. If you have liver problems, do not take this medicine without talking to your doctor.
  • Shower in the morning of treatment day. Wash with plain soap. Do not wax or shave 4 days before treatment.
  • No creams or emollients on the skin at the application site on the day of surgery.
  • If you have a known allergy to medicines, it is necessary to present it before treatment.
  • The Icelandic Health Insurance (SÍ) only contributes to the cost of the treatment for those insured with health insurance in Iceland on two occasions after surgery/laser surgery for varicose veins. Others pay a fee without the participation of SÍ according to the price list.  

Treatment: Takes place in Skurðstofan ehf. The medicine polidocanol (Aetoxysclerol) is used. Different concentrations are applied depending on the coarseness of the blood vessels to be closed (0,5 %, 1,0 % or 3,0 %) as foam or as liquids. This medicine blocks the blood vessels that form varicose veins or stretch marks that turn into scar tissue. The treatment takes up to 15-30 minutes each time. Numbing is not possible. A fine needle is used to insert the skin and inject the medicine directly into the birth veins to the atmospheric hernia/varicose veins with the aid of ultraviolet light. There may be some discomfort associated with this, preferably a short-lived field. 

The amount that can be injected in one treatment is limited at any given time. Treatment should frequently be repeated every >3-6 weeks until satisfactory results are achieved.

Packaging: Apply elastic coils which it is advisable to keep undisturbed until the following day. The pressure reduces blood flow around the treated area, improves treatment outcome and reduces the risk of complications such as bruising and skin discolouration. 

Movement: You can make all your trips, but avoid heavy stress during the first day afterwards, such as exercise.  

Success: The long-term benefit of this treatment is highly individualised but never complete and frequently requires repeated injection treatment. This is done at least every 3-6 weeks as mentioned above.  Patients must have reasonable and realistic expectations of physical outcome, subject to the limitations offered by treatment as well as the extent of their disease. Visual success will never be absolute.

 Complications: It is normal for the skin to bruise the first time after the sting. Side effects from the injection treatment are rare and are primary; feeling hot skin, redness and itching. Other adverse reactions such as hypersensitivity to the medicinal product, vasculitis, persistent changes in discolouration, infections or necrosis of the skin have been described in exceptional circumstances.
Work: You do not need to take time off from work after treatment.

Stefán E. Matthíasson dr. med.
Diagnosis and treatment of surgical and vascular diseases