Sclerotherapy is a nonsurgical way to treat certain types of vascular malformations, which are abnormal clusters of blood vessels that occur during fetal development. Using X-ray and ultrasound equipment, a doctor called an interventional radiologist, places a small needle into the vascular malformation and injects it with a chemical substance called a sclerosant. The sclerosant causes clotting, inflammation and eventual shrinkage of the malformation. There are several different agents the doctor may use; it depends on the type of malformation being treated and the intended result.
Depending on the size and shape of the malformation, more than one injection may be needed. The procedure usually takes two to three hours; however, its beneficial effects may not be seen for up to two months. You will be able to stay with your child until anesthesia is administered for the procedure. You will be escorted to the surgical waiting area where the doctor will talk to you after the procedure.