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What Is Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is a technique for removing varicose veins, or veins that bulge and become visible through the skin, with the help of ultrasound imaging. Unlike with traditional removal techniques, doctors are able to monitor the procedure with the ultrasound images and more easily locate veins that might have remained hidden to the naked eye. Additionally, this procedure involves injecting a solution into the veins to minimize or eradicate them, allowing the patient to avoid the pain and bleeding that often goes along with traditional surgical removal of varicose veins. Doctors might recommend this treatment for problem veins of almost any size, with the exception of very tiny veins that cannot handle the volume of fluid required to shrink them.

Since there are a variety of options available to a person who wants to have varicose veins removed, it is important for a potential patient to evaluate whether or not ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy will be appropriate in his particular case. In most cases, doctors recommend this treatment for a person who does not mind waiting a bit for the results of the procedure to become apparent. This is due to the fact that a patient's varicose veins may seem even more prominent right after the treatment is complete and take a bit of time to shrink and fade. The affected veins will most likely begin to look better within about a week, and they typically disappear about two months after treatment.

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Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy doesn't usually require an extended procedure. In many cases, the procedure will last for only about 15 minutes while in other cases a doctor may require a couple of hours to complete it. The amount of time required typically depends on the number of veins that require treatment. Usually, a patient can undergo ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy without needing any type of pain medication or anesthesia. Additionally, doctors often perform it in their offices or outpatient treatment facilities, and the patient doesn't need hospitalization afterward.

It is important to note that while ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy can prove useful for shrinking varicose veins, it cannot really cure them. As such, a person could develop new varicose veins over time. Doctors may, however, recommend procedures and treatments to help prevent them from returning. For instance, a patient's doctor might recommend that he sit or sleep with his legs in an elevated position. Regular exercise and an effort to maintain a healthy weight may also prove helpful for preventing varicose veins.

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