Sclerotherapy – This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a medicine into the varicose vein or spider vein that causes the vein to dissolve. After the vein is injected the leg is wrapped with bandages for several days followed by use of compression stockings for a period of 1-2 weeks. Stockings are used to support the vein while it closes. Sclerotherapy is performed in the office and only takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the number of veins being treated.
Am I a good candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Most people with varicose veins or large spider veins are a candidate for Sclerotherapy. Almost anyone can undergo laser spider vein treatment; however, pregnant or nursing women are discouraged from undergoing Sclerotherapy. Those on blood thinners need to consider stopping their medication prior to Sclerotherapy. This can be discussed with the Allegany Vein Clinic staff.
What can I expect from Sclerotherapy?
After each session of Sclerotherapy your legs will be wrapped with ace bandages. The bandages must remain in place for several days and then you will likely be required to wear compression stockings to help your legs heal after Sclerotherapy. These are usually only required for about 2 weeks after each injection. The treatments are very well tolerated as all injections are performed with a very small needle. The actual injection of the medicine (sclerosant) is virtually painless.
What is the recovery time for Sclerotherapy?
You may experience some mild burning or soreness in the treated areas. This usually is very mild and improves within several days. We encourage our patients to stay active after Sclerotherapy and avoid being sedentary; while avoiding strenuous exercise until seen by the Allegany Vein Clinic provider and given the OK to return to normal activities.
What are possible side effects of Sclerotherapy?
Side effects of Sclerotherapy include temporary swelling of the foot and ankle and blisters from bandages or tape. Larger varicose veins may become hard or lumpy after Sclerotherapy and require several months to dissolve and fade. Hyperpigmentation of the skin overlying the varicose vein can occur and usually resolves but may be permanent. Proper use of the compression stockings is the best way to minimize these risks. After Sclerotherapy the body may form new spider veins around the injection sites. This is rare and usually temporary or may require laser treatment to remove them.
How do I prepare for an upcoming session of Sclerotherapy?
- Wear loose fitting clothes and shoes to accommodate the bandages and bring some shorts to wear.
- If approved by your primary doctor, any blood thinners should be held prior to the procedure to avoid excessive bruising. (aspirin must be stopped 10 days prior to the treatment)
Avoid any lotions or tanning creams the day of the treatment.