Sclerotherapy Procedure Information
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used for the elimination of small varicose and spider veins. It involves an injection of a medical solution directly into the vein via a tiny needle. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, which causes the vein to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. Treated veins typically fade within a few weeks. In some cases, it may be necessary to have several treatments performed to achieve the desired results
Sclerotherapy is used for cosmetic purposes, to improve and reduce the appearance of varicose and spider veins in legs. The procedure also can improve symptoms related to this condition, such as aching, burning, swelling and night cramps. Doctors recommend that pregnant women wait until after delivery to have sclerotherapy performed.
Are there side effects?
Sclerotherapy is a comparatively safe procedure with few complications. As with any medical procedure, there can be some side effects that may occur at the injection site, including:
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple tiny red blood vessels
- Small skin sores
- Raised red areas
These side effects usually go away within a few days to weeks following treatment.
How do I prepare for sclerotherapy?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination of the veins in question and check for any underlying disease of the blood vessels. Additionally, your doctor will collect your medical history, including information about existing medical conditions, any allergies you have, recent illnesses, prescription or non-prescription medications or supplements, especially blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or antibiotics. You will also be asked if you smoke or take oral contraceptives, as these can increase your risk of blood clots.
After the procedure
Typically, sclerotherapy is performed in your doctor’s office and generally is completed in less than an hour.
You will lay on your back for 15 to 20 minutes following the procedure and your doctor will keep an eye out for any immediate side effects. You will then walk around to prevent blood clots, and you will need to wear compression stockings or bandages for about three weeks.
Your doctor will advise you what activities are safe for you perform following your procedure, and will likely advise against strenuous exercise for two weeks. You should avoid sun exposure to the treated areas to prevent the formation of dark spots.
What results should I expect?
You can generally expect to see conclusive results in three to six weeks following the procedure, if you were treated for small varicose veins or spider veins. However, if larger veins were treated, it may require three to four months to see those results.
The good news is that treated veins generally do not come back. Studies have shown that the use of sclerotherapy is an effective treatment in the elimination of varicose and spider veins. These studies have demonstrated an overall success rate of up to 80 percent.
Your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit a month after the procedure to check the results and determine whether additional sessions are required. Normally, it’s necessary to wait four to six weeks before going through another session.
At San Diego Cosmetic Laser Clinic, Dr. Parvin Main is experienced in treating varicose veins with sclerotherapy. Please contact us for a consultation today.
See also: 5 Common Beauty Myths Debunked
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