Vascular Surgery Expert Discusses Unsuccessful Sclerotherapy

Cody Porcoro

Written by
on October 31, 2017

A male patient required a hand amputation after a sclerotherapy procedure ineffectively treated his varicose veins. A foam solution had been injected into the patient’s vein in order to cause blood clotting and reduce the vein’s visibility. However, the patient’s hand began to swell and turn a mottled purple, causing him to contact the Nurse Hotline. Consequent imaging in the hospital’s emergency services revealed that arteries providing blood to the man’s hand had been clamped shut, potentially by the previously administered foam treatment. Though multiple attempts were made to reopen the patient’s arterial veins, he eventually required amputation of three fingers on his writing hand. He alleged he had been given poor medical care, and decided to sue the physician who had administered his sclerotherapy.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your professional expertise and experience in relation to this case.

Expert Witness Response E-006875

This is an exceedingly rare complication, and sclerotherapy of a hand vein is rare at best. One wonders what the indication was and if the patient truly provided informed consent; I severely doubt he was provided with adequate information – and to have an amputation is even worse! It seems almost assuredly a case of malpractice. Professionally speaking, I would never perform the procedure in this way, nor would many others.

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