Sclerotherapy is a procedure that is useful in treating varicose and spider veins. It’s frequently referred to as the “gold standard” therapy for minor varicose veins in which a solution is injected directly into a vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar, causing blood to reroute through healthier veins due to the procedure. In most cases, the ruptured vein is reabsorbed into the surrounding tissue and ultimately fades away.
This treatment leads to the disappearance of treated veins within a few weeks, while it may take up to a month or more to observe the full effect. You may require several sclerotherapy therapies in some cases. Frequently, it is performed for cosmetic reasons – to enhance the appearance of varicose and spider veins. Not all forms of varicose or spider veins are made equal, which is why a variety of efficient, cutting-edge therapies are available to help you get rid of them. If your vein specialist has advised you to undergo sclerotherapy, there are a few things you should be aware of both during the procedure and following it.
When you first come in for sclerotherapy, you may have about what to expect the procedures to be reviewed and answer any questions asked. Then your treatment proceeds according to the type of vein being treated.
The four things to expect from Sclerotherapy Treatment are stated below.
A quick and fast treatment.
This procedure is relatively quick and does not require anesthesia. Typically, the procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes and may be completed in the comfort of a doctor’s office. It entails laying down and raising your legs off the ground. The vein doctor will inject the afflicted veins with polidocanol, who will utilize a syringe filled with medicated microfoam. Your veins will get sealed off due to the solution, which your body will replenish.
A few side effects.
Sclerotherapy is FDA-approved, and it has been the gold standard in the treatment of spider veins for an extended time. Serious adverse effects are exceedingly rare, although a few transitory side effects are possible with this medication. Because the chemical solution injected into your veins is intended to irritate the veins, some people may experience some irritation, such as burning or cramps, in the treated region after receiving the injection. When the syringe is put into the vein, you may also experience a pinching sensation.
Mild adverse effects, such as bruises or discoloration of the skin surrounding the treated region, may occur due to the treatment. These negative effects usually are self-limiting and disappear within a few days. Occasionally, darkening of the skin surrounding the treatment region might linger for several weeks or even for an indeterminate period following the procedure.
The following are some uncommon but possibly dangerous adverse effects of sclerotherapy that you should be aware of.
Other issues are less prevalent, but they may still need medical attention.
The soreness and edema surrounding the injection site are typically modest; nonetheless, swelling, burning, and discomfort may occur around the area. An over-the-counter pain treatment such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) may be prescribed by your doctor to alleviate the discomfort.
- Blood clot.
A mass of clotted blood may form in which the doctor treated the vein and thus will require draining. A blood clot may move to a deeper vein in your leg on rare occasions (deep vein thrombosis). In the case of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (a very uncommon consequence of sclerotherapy) is a possibility. A pulmonary embolism is an emergency condition in which a blood clot travels from your leg to your lung and stops an important blood vessel. If you have trouble breathing, chest discomfort, or dizziness, or if you cough up blood, get medical attention right away.
- Air bubbles.
Tiny air bubbles may arise in your system. Visual abnormalities, headaches, vomiting, and nausea are some of the symptoms that can occur due to this condition. These symptoms should subside within a few days, but you should contact your doctor if you have any difficulties with limb mobility or feeling following the surgery.
- Allergic reaction.
It is conceivable that you will have an allergic reaction to the fluid used for therapy, although this is quite unlikely.
Short recovery time
Following sclerotherapy, the recuperation time is usually not disruptive to people’s daily lives or work schedules. It is recommended that you get up and move around for a few minutes immediately following the treatment to improve the blood circulation through the veins and reduce the chance of blood clots. You’ll be able to return to work or other regularly planned activities the next day without any problems.
Your doctor will almost certainly prescribe that you wear compression garments for a few weeks following treatment and that you avoid direct sunlight for the same period. In addition to applying light pressure to the legs, the stockings will aid in the gradual fading of treated veins and the prevention of new spider veins from developing. While the recovery time is quick, it does take a few weeks for the spider veins to become cosmetically unnoticeable after the procedure. While it may appear that the spider veins have disappeared quickly, they remain red for a few weeks before gradually fading away.
Possible additional treatments will be required.
The number and size of spider veins on your legs may necessitate a series of sclerotherapy treatments, which may vary depending on their size and location. The treatments are frequently scheduled a few weeks apart. After a series of sessions, it may take up to two months before the full benefits of sclerotherapy become apparent. To bear in mind is that sclerotherapy is solely intended to be aesthetic in nature. It will not relieve any other symptoms associated with the more serious venous insufficiency that produces varicose veins.
According to medical professionals, you should avoid sclerosing treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding.