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What chemicals are in the saline solution and does it have mercury in it and if not what is in it? what are the side effects if any.
The saline solution is just that-a salt solution in concentrated form. It was the mainstay for sclerotherapy for many years but is now not commonly used. These is no mercury in it. The side effects were burning with injection, staining or discoloration of the skin, and possible skin ulceration at the injection site.
We use Sotradecol for spider veins. The only common side effects of this treatment can be temporary injection-site bruising and redness.
The classic saline solution used for sclerotherapy was hypertonic saline, with no mercury or other additives. The problem with saline is that it burns tremendously, so it is no longer used by most. The current agents we use are called Sotradecol or Polidocanol, both of which have been used for many, many years with excellent results, and much less discomfort as compared to saline. There is no mercury in either compound, and the side effects are generally mild, and consist of bruising, mild tenderness, hyper pigmentation or mild discoloration, which slowly fades over time. The most significant potential, but rare, side effect could be a small surface skin ulcer, which usually heals very well over time.
There are a variety of solutions used for injection sclerotherapy, but only one which is FDA approved: sodium tetradecol sulfate or STS. Hypertonic saline solution is not commonly used by today's practicing Phlebologists or vein specialists. I am not aware of any solutions used for sclerotherapy which contain mercury, and the commonly used solutions are generally used in such small amounts that there is little chance of minor complications andalmost no risk of more serious, long term complications. THE use of air mixed in with the solution to create "foam' has been advocated by some vein specialists as a more effective treatment for veins larger than spiders or reticular veins, noting that the foam creates more 3-D contact with the vein wall rather than the liquid solution layering along the dependent surface of the vein. There are 2 camps of thought on this topic and my recommendation is that you have a discussion with your vein specialist and have your
questions answered to your satisfaction.
Saline is high concentration of salt. Usually 23% or 20%. Saline is not a very effective sclerosant because it gets very diluted when injected. Saline can cause staining which is a brown stain over the vein that was injected. Saline can also cause significant necrosis of
the skin. There are much more effective and much safer sclerosants available and sclerosants that are not as prone to staining, we do not use hypertonic saline at California vein specialists for this reason. We use detergents that are safer and more effective. I am not aware of mercury in any sclerosants.
Saline compared to other solutions for sclerotherapy is more painful and less effective. Saline is notorious for causing cramps during injection. Potential side effects for sclerotherapy: blood trapped in veins injected, blood clot (very rare), allergic reaction, migraine headache, skin ulcer, darkening of skin, new veins. Overall, sclerotherapy is very safe however.
Saline comes in three different forms, and only one of them is used by some doctors (not by most vein specialists) in treating unwanted legs veins. When saline is made with its salt equal to our body salt concentration in body fluids, it is called isotonic. isotonic saline
has no effect on vessels and is used to mainly to expand the patients fluid volume, such as in dehydrated patients. Salt content of isotonic saline is 0.9%. Hypotonic saline has less than 0.9% saly content, and used in specific situations to balanc fluid and
electrolyte imbalance where more water is required than salt.
Hypertonic saline (much thicker concentration of salt in water than our blood) with salt concentration of 23.4% is used to cause damage to the inner ayer of unwanted veins and scar these vessels from within. It should be noted that Hypertonic saline is NOT approved by FDA for treatment of spider veins or varicose veins. The only solution that is FDA-approved for this use is Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate , commercially known as Sotradecol, Sotradecol is used in many different concentrations depending what size and where is the target varicose vein or spider veins.
Furthermore, sclerotherapy should only be done by a doctor with proper training and experience in its use, evaluation and treatment of vein related problems. In my
experience of 17 years of doing sclerotherapy, I have noted, generally speaking, that those physicians who perform sclerotherapy as a side job (once in a while) and not a full-time ficus of their career, produce much less desirable results. Treatment of varicose and spider veins should not be trivialized in any way.
When saline is used for sclerotherapy then it is only saline. No other chemicals. The high concentration is what makes it damaging to the veins. Other chemical or solutions can also be used but none would contain any Mercury unless there was a contamination issue.
Typical side effects include bruising and redness in addition to some degree of skin hyperpigmentation.
The saline solution is a hypertonic saline and does not contain mercury. Side effects are the same for other sclerotherapy solutions; staining, bruising, phlebitis, and possible ulceration.
There are several different commonly used sclerotherapy solutions. Hypertonic saline is used frequently. I personally do not use it. We use Sotradecol at our clinic. Hypertonic saline is a high salt content water that should not have additional elements.
Side effects are typically burning and irritation at the injection site. Sometimes there can be staining which is usually temporary. Rarely there is a more significant side effect of tissue necrosis where there is some skin damage. Again, fortunately, this doesn't happen often.
I don't use saline solution, never have, but it is a solution which has been available for many years. It is just a concentrated salt solution. Generally most people in the US use Sotradecol these days, it is FDA approved for sclerotherapy, and works quite well. As far as I know there is no mercury in this solution or any other solution used for sclerotherapy. Some possible unlikely side effects include, pigmentation, allergic reaction, skin ulceration (very rare), matting (recurrent tiny veins)
We do not use saline anymore. We have two different solutions that we use. The first is sodium tetradecyl sulfate, it is mixed with air to become a "foamed" solution. The second is glycerin mixed with lidocaine. Side effects can include some irritation, discoloration or ulceration (very seldom) at the injection sites.