Background: Polidocanol is a widely used sclerosing agent that was first developed as a local anesthetic. In France it is used in varicose veins as well as in telangiectases.
Objective: To improve the knowledge of the effects of polidocanol and provide recommendations for better use.
Methods: Based on 12 years of experience in treating nearly 11,000 patients with polidocanol, the author reviews his observations. A theoretical model of dilution of sclerosing agents in injected veins is provided.
Results: The author observed: seven cases of minor urticaria, occurrence of grey veil when used under the air-block technique, one case of cutaneous necrosis (5 cm3), and some small epidermic necrosis (1-mm diameter) and neither shock nor severe adverse reaction.
Conclusion: Polidocanol is characterized by its spasmogenic action on veins, excellent local tolerance, and a very low incidence of general reactions. Low concentrations (0.3 to 0.6%) can be used for the treatment of quite large varicose veins if an adequate volume is injected.