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The Cost of Sclerotherapy

The Sclerotherapy treatment is one of the safest and most effective treatments available for treating varicose and spider veins. This method of treatment has been used in Australia for over 20 years and is also known as Ultra-Sound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy. Dr John Marx based in Melbourne is our specialist in this field, and performs these procedures at our clinic; he has had more than 14 years experience in Sclerotherapy, and is a member of the Australian College of Phlebology.

Sclerotherapy can eliminate large veins, either alone, or in conjunction with less invasive out patient surgery. Sclerotherapy is the recommended treatment for smaller accessory veins to prevent their deterioration into larger bulging veins and of course is without parallel and most effective in the treatment of leg spider veins.

Prior to treatment, an initial consultation is required so the Doctor can assess your veins, he uses a Doppler scan to locate the origin of the vein and assess the severity of the veins, at the consultation he will also recommend the most suitable treatment for your condition and give you an estimate of how many treatments you may require.

The costs associated with this treatment are as follows:

  • Initial Consultation - $50 ($21 Medicare rebate.)
  • There will also be a once off purchase for a pair of special compression stockings that you are required to wear after each sclerotherapy treatment ($50-$150) you may be able to claim a refund from your Private Health Fund. You need to wear these stockings for about 4-5 days after the treatment. We also recommend a 30 minute walk after your treatment, to get blood flow.

Cost per treatment approximately is $370.00 or $550.00 for deeper veins that require ultrasound guided foam therapy. (You will receive a Medicare rebate of approximately $91.60 with each treatment)

Medicare allows up to 6 treatments to be claimed per annum.

We are also able to offer the Endo-venous Laser Therapy treatment, where the veins are treated with laser. Laser Treatment is very effective for very tiny veins or capillaries on the face. Laser Treatment may be slightly painful, and rarely can cause a small ulceration of skin with the possibility of a little scar. Rarely slight skin staining from either loss or excessive pigmentation may occur, but the latter dissipates over time. You will only need one laser treatment. Some patients will then need follow-up sclerotherapy treatments as well.

ALL MEDICAL PROCEDURES HAVE BENEFITS AND POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS.

Surgery: May be effective or recommended for larger veins where the main valves in the groin or back of the knee are defective. This may entail only ligation or tying off the vein in these areas, or in addition stripping and removal of the veins from the legs.

Surgery: Veins stripping and /or ligation may also be used to treat large varicose veins. This requires a hospital stay of up to two weeks and usually a general anaesthetic. Vein surgery causes permanent scarring and the risk of permanent nerve damage in up to 30% of patients, possible infection and possible pulmonary embolism (clots in the lungs). General anaesthesia has some associated risks, including the rare possibility of serious harm, paralysis, brain damage and death.

In the event that the veins are left untreated both the symptoms and the appearance usually continue to worsen. There is the continued risk of haemorrhage, dermatitis and phlebitis (inflammation of the veins).

In addition, spontaneous deep thrombosis (clots in the deep veins) can occur with the associated risk of possible pulmonary embolism.

Years later, recurrent painful skin ulcerations can develop in the ankle region in those patients with venous insufficiency. Rarely, these ulcers may haemorrhage, or in extremely rare cases become cancerous.

Unfortunately, however, there is no guarantee that Sclerotherapy will be effective in every case. Approximately 10% of our patients who undergo Sclerotherapy have poor to fair results ('poor results' means that the veins and any associated symptoms have not substantially disappeared after six to ten treatments). This is seen especially with patients who have had previous surgery on one or more occasions or who have quite severe disease. The number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the veins. Individual veins may require one to three treatments; the treatment usually takes from one to several months, and the healing proceeds over a longer time.

Treatments for Spider and Varicose Veins

Thousands of people every year consider getting treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. If you are considering treatment, this brochure will provide information that you may find helpful. Remember, this cannot substitute for a consultation with Dr Goldbaum.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are visible and bulging veins often associated with symptoms such as tired, heavy, or aching legs. In severe cases, Varicose Veins can rupture, or cause ulcers. Varicose veins are most common in the legs and thighs but can sometimes be found in the groin.

What are Spider Veins?

"Spider Veins" are thread like veins that appear on the skin's surface. These may look like "starburst" clusters or a web-like maze. Spider veins are most common in the thighs, ankles and feet. They may also appear on the face and nose.

What causes Varicose and Spider Veins?

The causes of varicose and spider veins are not entirely understood. In some instances, the absence or weakness of valves in the veins allow the backward flow of blood away from the heart. This causes a build up of pressure in the veins resulting in outbursts of spider veins or bulging varicose veins. Less commonly, varicose veins are caused by diseases such as phlebitis or congenital abnormalities of the veins. Venous disease is generally progressive and cannot always be entirely prevented. However, in some cases wearing support hosiery and maintaining normal weight and regular exercise may be beneficial.

Hormones, family history and long periods of standing are also thought to cause varicose veins.

What treatments are available to treat Varicose and Spider Veins?

Larger varicose veins can occur on their own or can underline spider veins. In most cases the varicose veins should be treated before spider veins.

Sclerotherapy uses a fine needle to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing collapse of the inner lining and ultimately the vein. The vein turns into scar tissue that fades from view.

Following the injection of the solution into the vein, it is important to apply compression such as bandages or stockings to the treated leg. This causes the collapsed vein wall to stick together and seal shut.

Does the procedure hurt?

The microinjections are hardly felt and are virtually painless. The injected solution can cause a mild sting for several seconds, and the treated veins, if large, may feel a little sore for several days.

What are the side effects of Sclerotherapy?

Injection sclerotherapy is a very safe procedure with very little risk. The treating doctor will discuss this with you in detail

How long to the results last?

In the large majority of patients, once the veins have sealed (sclerosed) the result is permanent.

Depending on the underlying causes of the veins, new veins may form over time, that will require further treatment.

Some patients may require ongoing maintenance of 1 - 2 treatments each year for recurring spider veins (just as regular haircuts are required for growing hair).