What is Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins?

  1. sclerotherapy for varicose veins

Swimsuit season might be over, but holiday party season is just around the corner. So if you want to look as fabulous as possible in a cocktail dress, it’s time to stop putting off treatment for your varicose veins.

Varicose veins are the result of faulty valves and weakened blood vessel walls that expand and bulge noticeably through your skin. Procedures to treat varicose veins have improved significantly over the years, and patients have a variety of options, depending on the specifics of the condition as well as personal preferences. One of the most effective treatments is sclerotherapy.

What Is Sclerotherapy?

Unlike more invasive varicose vein treatments that remove veins entirely, sclerotherapy seals off problem veins so blood can no longer flow through and cause the vein to bulge. The outpatient procedure is safe and quick. It generally takes an hour or less, and you’ll be able to get up and walk around soon afterward.

How Does The Procedure Work?

While you are positioned on your back with your legs slightly elevated, your doctor will cleanse the area to be treated and then slowly inject a solution into the problem vein with a fine needle.

The solution used will depend on the size of the vein. Hypertonic saline (a salt solution) is used on small veins, while larger veins are treated with a formula containing sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a detergent) and Asclera (polidocanol). Solutions come in either liquid or foam.

After injection, the solution will irritate the lining of the vein and cause it to collapse and stick together. Eventually, it will become scar tissue and disappear.

Are Sclerotherapy Injections Painful?

The minor discomfort of injection can be helped with a treatment solution that contains lidocaine. As soon as the needle is withdrawn, your doctor will apply compression and massage the area to help disperse the solution, which will also relieve some of the discomfort.

Does Sclerotherapy Work For Everyone?

Before the procedure, your doctor will use ultrasound to determine if your varicose veins are treatable with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy may not be appropriate for small areas of “spider” veins (very fine, visible veins spread in a web-like pattern), and patients who are obese are generally not ideal candidates for sclerotherapy.

What Aftercare Is Required With Sclerotherapy?

Most people are able to return to normal activities the same day of the procedure, but you’ll need to avoid strenuous exercises and stay out of direct sunlight for a couple of weeks. Inflammation from the injections can result in dark spots on your skin when exposed to the sun.

Directly after treatment, your doctor will apply compression dressings that you’ll need to maintain for one to two weeks, depending on the severity of your case. You will also need a follow-up visit within the first two weeks after treatment.

Is Sclerotherapy Right For You?

If you’re ready to go shopping for cocktail dresses and want to learn more about sclerotherapy to get rid of your varicose veins, the San Diego Cosmetic Laser Clinic can help. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Parvin Mani. She’ll help you determine whether sclerotherapy is the right decision for your health and beauty goals.