Are There Particular Sclerotherapy Drugs Which Diabetics Should Avoid?

Diabetics fall in that special group given special medical attention when they need to do surgery and Sclerotherapy sounds like a simply enough procedure, but what of the drugs used?

Doctor Answers 5

Sclerotherapy in diabetes

Excluding patients with uncontrolled diabetes (HbA1c > 7) or significant peripheral arterial disease which is diagnosed by arterial Doppler, ultrasound and plethysmography, sclerotherapy is NOT contraindicated in diabetic patients. 

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Sclerotherapy drugs are safe for use in diabetics.

The common sclerotherapy drugs used at the present time are polidocanol,sodium  tetra decyl, glycerine and to a lesser extent hypertonic saline.  Hypertonic saline is actually being used less and less because of the more efficacious agents.  None of these sclerosing agents are contraindicated in the diabetic patient. I have been treating diabetics with sclerotherapy for years without any problems.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Sclerotherapy in diabetic patients

Sclerotherapy is quite safe in diabetic patients.  I use polidocanol 0.75 to 0.1% in my treatments with rarely any problems. Since the 1920’s sclerotherapy has been considered the gold standard treatment for spider veins on the legs. A sclerosing solution is injected with a tiny needle into the veins causing them to seal shut and eventually become absorbed. The work of carrying the blood is shifted to other healthy blood vessels nearby. It is a very cost-effective procedure that rarely leaves a scar or produces adverse effects and is done in our office. After several treatments you can expect about 80 to 90% of the treated vessels to be gone for good. 

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sclerotherapy and Diabetes/Diabetics

  There is no contraindication for sclerotherapy in diabetic patients. I use foam sodium tetradecyl sulfate and glycerin. Polidocanol is also effective and fine for diabetics.
  Having sclerotherapy is helpful - especially in diabetics - since your leg veins will continue to dilate over time (with advancing age, weight gain, inactivity, etc.). With more and more dilation of your leg veins, you can start to experience swelling (and sometimes a "ruddy" skin discoloration) in your lower legs/ankles. By treating the veins, you can prevent/minimize this swelling. Furthermore, diabetics can develop skin breakdown/ulcers from prolonged tissue swelling ("venous stasis" in medical terminology). Diabetics area also more prone to infections (even skin infections). Any time the skin barrier is compromised - for example, with a diabetic ulcer - a person is more likely to develop an infection in that tissue. Ulcers/skin infections can unfortunately sometimes lead to the need for amputations.
 Thus, anything you can do to prevent this blood pooling in the lower legs and subsequent tissue swelling (by treating the veins) is going to be beneficial to you in the long run.

Monika Kiripolsky, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Diabetics and Sclerotherapy

It more depends how controlled your diabetes is. My daughter is diabetic (type 1 for 34 years) and I have performed sclerotherapy on her several times over the years. She does take a bit longer to heal (maybe 10 days for full healing meaning all injections sites and redness are gone), but she has never had any significant problems or side effects. I use polidocanol 2% in my treatments. I've done sclerotherapy on other diabetic patients as well, and they have very similar outcomes to my daughter. As long as your diabetes is well controlled, your experienced physician should be ok to treat you. For your first appointment, you might want to see if he/she would do a smaller area and see how you respond, then you could go back for a full treatment.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.