Sclerotherapy is used to effectively treat varicose and spider veins. It's frequently deemed the ideal treatment of choice for small varicose veins. Studies of sclerotherapy as a treatment indicate that it has an overall success rate of about 60 to 80 percent in removing treated veins.
Sclerotherapy comprises of injecting a solution directly into the vein. The solution scars the designated vein, causing blood to redirect through healthier veins. The collapsed vein eventually fades through absorption into local tissue. This fading usually takes place within weeks, although a month or more may be required to see the full results. In some occasions, multiple sclerotherapy treatments may be necessary.
Why it's done?
Sclerotherapy is regularly done for:
- Cosmetic purposes — to improve the appearance and/or presence of varicose and spider veins
The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as:
- Night cramps
Temporary side effects
Some side effects that may occur at the site of the injection include:
- Raised red areas
- Small skin sores
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple tiny red blood vessels
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks
Your doctor will:
- Evaluate your required veins
- Check for any essential blood vessel disease
The day before
Refrain from shaving or applying any cream or lotion to your legs starting from 24 hours prior to the procedure. Wearing loose and comfortable clothes is recommended as to expose and easily access the site of injection.
What you can expect
Sclerotherapy takes usually less than an hour to complete and requires no anaesthesia.
During the procedure
You'll be able to get up and move around soon after the procedure. Walking and moving your legs is essential to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Most people resume to their normal activities on the same day, but it is recommended to have someone drive you home after the procedure. The doctor will undoubtedly advise you to avoid vigorous exercise for two weeks after the procedure.
Since the inflammation by the injections is more sensitive to sunlight, it is advisable to avoid it as it can lead to dark spots on your skin, particularly more so if you have a darker skin tone.
Results are usually noticeable three to six weeks after the treatment for smaller or spider veins. However, three or four months is required if larger veins were treated. Nevertheless, multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the results you want.
Veins that respond to treatment generally don't come back, but new veins may appear.
Your doctor will likely arrange a follow-up visit about a month after the procedure to examine the procedure's success and choose whether additional sessions are necessary. Generally, you need to wait about six weeks before undergoing another sclerotherapy session.
After the procedure
During the procedure, you will lie on your back with your legs slightly elevated. After your doctor identifies the appropriate vein, will slowly begin to insert a solution
This solution, which is usually in a liquid state, will begin to irritate the lining of the vein causing it to swell, blocking the flow of the blood. Sometimes, when a larger vein is involved, a foam version may be used as it covers more area than the liquid solution. Some solutions come with lidocaine, a local anaesthetic.
After the injection, your doctor will compress and massage the area to spread the solution and to also keep the blood out of the injected vein. The number of injections depends on the number and size of the veins being treated. Eventually, the vein will be converted into scar tissue and disappear.
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