Ultrasound Guided Injections for Treating Large Varicose Veins in Calgary

As a leader in Calgary venous treatment and aesthetic medicine, Calgary Vein & Laser is pleased to offer patients echosclerotherapy.


What Is Echosclerotherapy?

Echosclerotherapy is an ultrasound guided injection technique for the treatment of varices. The purpose of echosclerotherapy is to sclerose (to close) the surface veins near their site of origin. The intent of the treatment is to replace the previously needed surgeries. Although the percentage rate of success is high, in some cases, patients may require surgical intervention despite echosclerotherapy. As a rule we inject a vessel twice (on 2 separate occasions). If the outcome is unsuccessful, we will send the patient for surgery.


Advantages

  • Alternative to surgery
  • Painless
  • Minimal down time


How Long will the Procedure Take?

The procedure itself takes 10-15 minutes. However, including bandaging time and the time we leave you in a tilt position, allow yourself 45 minutes in the Ultrasound Clinic.


What Can I Expect When I Am Having the Treatment?

Greater Saphenous Vein (the vein in the upper thigh)

For the treatment of the greater saphenous vein, you will be placed in a semi-seated position. The ideal location for the injection will be established using the ultrasound as a guide. A small amount of local anaesthetic will be infiltrated under the skin and a plastic coated needle will be positioned in the saphenous vein. Please note this procedure, as well as the rest of the process, is usually painless. During the injection of the sclerosing agent, the bed will be tilted so that your head is slightly downwards and your feet elevated. Following the injection, you will be fitted with a strong compression stocking.


Lesser Saphenous Vein (the vein behind your knee)

When the lesser saphenous vein is injected, you will be placed in a comfortable face-down position. The same procedure as described for the greater saphenous vein will take place. Following the injection, you will be fitted with a strong compression stocking or a special bandage will be applied to the leg.


Please note: during the ultrasound guided treatment, we will have visual and audio control of the veins. You may hear a swishing sound during the injection and with the change of position. Do not be concerned, this is normal.


What Happens after the Treatment?

Following treatment, clients will be advised to elevate their leg above the level of their heart, or to exercise. Your physician will advise you at that time. You may resume normal activities the next day.


Will I Be Able to Drive Home after the Procedure?

Yes. We allow for 30 to 40 minutes of drive time following the procedure. Upon arriving at home, you should again elevate your leg. If you live greater than a 60-minute drive from our office, please bring another driver so that you can elevate your leg in the car.


What Can I Expect after the Treatment?

Immediately following the injection, on rare occasions, some patients perceive a slight discomfort along the course of the vein. This, however, is very transient and usually disappears within a few minutes.


What Are the Possible Side Effects and Complications?

The most common complication is an inflammation of the injected vein. It usually appears within the first week and consists of a hard, tender cord along the injected site. The pain is usually minor and is relieved by ice. The use of compression stockings and anti-inflammatories are required.


Despite undergoing a detailed medical history and examination, there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction. This rare complication may range from a slight tingling sensation with red blotches on the skin to an anaphylactic reaction.


Exceptionally rare cases of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus have been reported in medical literature. Complications may arise from the sclerosing agent spilling into the subcutaneous tissues, or introduced into an arteriole. Both will result in an ulcer that will eventually leave a scar.


Calgary Vein & Laser takes great care to avoid any complications. Please call us with any concerns.


How Long before I Should Return for My Next Visit?

You will be asked to return for an assessment in 4-6 weeks.


Summary

  • Exercise as instructed
  • Elevate leg for 5 hours after treatment if requested
  • Wear the compression stocking or bandage for 5 days as instructed. Stockings should be removed for sleeping. Elevate leg for a few minutes before re-applying the stocking.
  • Follow-up in 4-6 weeks as advised by physician
  • Report any excess pain or leg swelling to our office
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