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Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:49 pm
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee), is a treatment for varicose veins that combines regular sclerotherapy, or vein injection, with ultrasound imaging, so doctors can locate and target diseased veins below the surface. Because of this technique, patients may have the option of treating deeper veins with sclerotherapy instead of traditional surgery. Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, or UGS, (U-G-S) typically begins with a detailed ultrasound scan of the entire affected leg. On a video monitor, the physician sees a map of the leg veins. Next, a fine needle is inserted and guided via ultrasound to the precise location where the varicosity begins. A sclerosing solution is then injected to irritate the vein and cause it to seal off. Five or six injections may be needed, depending on the response of the vein. If the vein is very large or you have more than one problem vein, you may require a follow-up treatment several weeks or months later. UGS typically has a lower cost, fewer complications, and a faster recovery time than surgical procedures. However, not all doctors are trained in this technique, so if you're considering UGS, you'll need to find a physician who's experienced with this method.
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