- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (30% of cases) – This is a common complication but fortunately in over 90% of cases it will completely settle within 2-3 months. Incidence of PIH can be reduced by wearing class 2 compression tights for 3 days post treatment. It can happen with sclerotherapy and laser treatment.
- Matting (20% of cases) – This is effectively the tendency of the body to respond to destruction of veins by forming small new veins. Basically neovascularisation. As a result pink patches of new veins (Telangiectatic matting) tend to form after treatment. These usually spontaneously regress after a few months. If there is persistence the Pulsed Dye Laser or long pulsed NdYAG can be used to help reduce the appearance. It can happen with laser and sclerotherapy treatment.
- Ulceration (Less than 1% but more likely near the ankles and inner thigh near the knee) – This is a rare complication of sclerotherapy but can happen with sclerotherapy only. It occurs when sclerosant finds its way into a dermal arteriole rather than a vein. This is more likely to happen near the ankle with sclerotherapy due to the anatomy of the veins and arteries in this region. This is why Dr Hussein prefers to use laser in this region. If ulcers form they are usually a bit painful and take 6 weeks to heal but scarring is actually minimal and acceptable. Usually these ulcerations are no more than 5mm in width.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) (1 in 1000) – It is a risk of sclerotherapy only. Mercifully this is a rare complication. It is more likely in the following groups of people:
- Oral Contraceptive pill use
- Previous history of clots or family history
- Cancer sufferers
- People with reduced mobility
- Heamosiderin Deposition – Again quite a rare complication but one that can cause what appears to be a more longstanding/permanent bruise due to leakage of iron containing pigment from treated veins. Unfortunately this is difficult to predict but thankfully relatively rare. It can also be treated with laser if it occurs. It is more likely to occur from sclerotherapy not laser
- Burn (1 in 1000) – Burns can arise from lasers only. The incidence of this is user dependent. Dr Hussein is a specialist in cutaneous laser surgery and performs in the region of 1500-2000 laser cases a year. He is also a Clinical Lecturer in Cutaneous Laser Surgery at Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Therefore when it comes to laser you are in knowledgeable and safe hands with Dr Hussein.