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Sclerotherapy is a procedure to treat some types of blood vessels or parts of your lymph system that aren’t formed in the usual way. They may be crooked, twisted, or just abnormal. These abnormal clusters of vessels or lymph structures usually start to develop before you were born. The procedure involves injecting a solution, called a sclerosing agent or sclerosant, into these abnormal blood or lymph vessels. Imaging, like ultrasound or fluoroscopy, is used to help guide the injection to the area where it’s needed. This type of imaging allows for a constant view of the area being treated.
The solution (sclerosant) causes inflammation and scarring. This causes the area that’s abnormal to shrink and you to have less pain in that area. Depending on the size and the location of the area being treated, you may need more than 1 treatment. Sclerotherapy can be used together with other treatments. Your healthcare team will talk with you about what may work best for you.
The solution that’s injected may cause a burning or cramping feeling for a few minutes. The level of pain or discomfort you feel may be different depending on the location of the treatment. You’ll get medicine for pain during the procedure if you need it. Children who have sclerotherapy often will have a general anesthetic. After your procedure you may have mild to moderate pain. You can treat this with an over-the-counter pain medicine.
Risks involved in sclerotherapy include infection, blood clots, skin blisters, skin breakdown, and scarring or staining of the skin. In rare cases there may be some nerve damage.
Call your healthcare provider if:
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_diagnosticimaging_sclerotherapy_pc
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: October 25, 2021
Author: Diagnostic Imaging, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.