History of Sclerotherapy

History of Sclerotherapy
A detail from Eber’s Papyrus, which may detail the first first documented treatment of venous disease.

The origin of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins likely have been around since the first human walked the earth, but the earliest known historical documentation of the condition showed up in the year 1550 BC in the papyrus scrolls of ancient physician Ebers. And the first documented treatment of venous disease was found in the historical annals 400 BC.

The origin of Sclerotherapy

Mind you that Eber’s Papyrus is chock full of incantations designed to turn away disease-bearing demons along with 877 prescriptions  and that the original documented treatments of varicose veins were in the form of offerings to the gods. But it wasn’t long before a more practical approach emerged. Around 460, Hippocrates, widely considered the father of western medicine, wrote of introducing “a slender instrument of iron” through skin punctures and into the veins to induce thrombosis (a blood clot inside a blood vessel that obstructs blood flow). Historians believe this concept of inserting a foreign substance into a vein may be the precursor to modern day sclerotherapy.

Consider the Greek origins of the word parts:

  • Sklerosis: A hardening of a tissue or part
  • Therapeia: Treatment of disease or disorder as by some remedial or restorative process

Sclerotherapy process for treating vein conditions

Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid or foam medication, called a sclerosant, into the vein. The sclerosant is formulated to harden the vein walls, causing them to shrink, collapse and ultimately fade away. Sclerosants can be liquid or foam. The technology continued to advance with the development of syringes in the 17th and 18th centuries, and of ultrasound in the 1970s.

The history of sclerotherapy has developed through the ages. Today, sclerotherapy is a highly advanced, minimally-invasive option for treating spider veins and some varicose veins. To find out if it’s right for you, call 877-640-VEIN (8346) and schedule a consultation with Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center today.

Related posts