Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure that has been in use since the 1930s.
Candidates for Sclerotherapy
Prior to sclerotherapy, you will have an initial consultation with a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist who will decide if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
You are not eligible if you are pregnant. You can have sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend on the overall health of the area needing treatment as well as the reason for the clot.
Veins that are potentially usable for future heart bypass surgery will generally not be considered for sclerotherapy, unless they are already deemed unusable.
How Sclerotherapy Is Done
Skincare Specialist in New Braunfels told us that in most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient.
Sclerotherapy is performed in the doctor’s office by a dermatologist or a surgeon and requires that you do not do any aerobic activity for a few days after the procedure.
What Happens After Sclerotherapy
After sclerotherapy you will be able to drive yourself home and resume your regular daily activities. Walking is encouraged.
You will be instructed to wear support hosiery to “compress” the treated vessels. If you have compression hosiery from previous treatments, you are encouraged to bring them with you to be certain they still have adequate compression. Department store support stockings will not be adequate if a heavy compression stocking is needed. Your doctor’s office can recommend where to purchase heavy compression stockings.
Following the injections, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 48 hours. Tylenol may be used if needed.
Also, you should avoid the following for 48 hours after treatment:
- Hot baths
- Hot compresses
- Whirlpools or saunas
- Direct exposure to sunlight
Showers are permitted, but the water should be cooler than usual. The injection sites may be washed with a mild soap and tepid water.