What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a non-invasive injection treatment used to eliminate spider veins and small-to medium-sized varicose veins. It is performed in the office with no incisions, stitches, minimal discomfort, and little down time for recovery making it a very efficient option for treatment.
To prepare for your sclerotherapy treatment, you will want to avoid using lotions, powders, and creams on your legs the night before.
The day of the procedure, our board-certified vascular surgeon or nurse practitioner will use a very thin needle to inject the veins with a sclerosing, or irritating, solution. Light compression is applied to the legs to help the solution flow through the damaged veins which are then broken down and reabsorbed into the body, becoming less visible.
The health benefits of reducing or eliminating spider and varicose veins are improved circulation and relief of heaviness, achiness, and fatigue in the legs. The aesthetic bonus of treatment is smoother, more even-toned skin and less discoloration.
Am I a good candidate for sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment for those suffering from spider veins or smaller varicose veins that are thin, red, blue or purple in appearance–although please keep in mind that the thinnest red veins can often be the most difficult to treat.
What are the risks or side effects of sclerotherapy?
Your surgeon or nurse practitioner will discuss with you any potential risks or side effects before the procedure, though mild discomfort at the injection sites is not uncommon and lasts only temporarily. On the other hand, not choosing to treat your spider or varicose veins can also be a risk due to the potential for more damaged veins to cluster and grow more pronounced in appearance.
What does sclerotherapy recovery look like?
You can return home or to work after the procedure, and immediately following you will need to wear your compression hose for 48 hours continuously to help with healing and circulation. Your provider will then instruct you on how often to wear them after that.
It is important to realize that the appearance of your legs will not change overnight, as it may take time for the injected veins to completely fade away and the body to reabsorb the vein tissue. Your legs may even look worse before they improve, but please be patient as they will get better. Sclerotherapy usually takes 6-9 months for full spider vein resolution.
Prolonged sitting, standing or heavy exercise should be avoided for several days. Walking, however, is highly encouraged to get the blood flowing in your legs as they heal.
Our patients are typically very pleased with both the cosmetic and therapeutic results once the healing is complete.
Please contact us at VeinSolutions in Austin and Georgetown to schedule an appointment with one of our providers who will help determine if this treatment or another minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure is right for you.
What can I expect during sclerotherapy?
During sclerotherapy, you’ll lie on your back in a comfortable position and your doctor will clean the area of treatment. A fine needle is inserted slowly into the vein, injecting it with a solution. Some people may experience mild discomfort, burning, or tingling. Once the injection is complete, the treated area will be massaged to prevent blood from re-entering the injected vein and disperse the solution. We apply cotton balls while we move to the next area of treatment. The number of injections you receive depends on the amount and size of veins treated. In some cases, follow-up treatment is needed to collapse a vein fully or for numerous damaged veins. Most sessions last 15 – 30 minutes.
What should I do before sclerotherapy?
Before sclerotherapy, you’ll need to avoid certain medications. We will provide a complete set of instructions before your treatment, including the need to stop aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medicines for 48-72 hours before the procedure. Do not apply lotion or creams to your legs before sclerotherapy.
Is sclerotherapy painful?
Some people may experience minor stinging, cramping, or burning in the injected site during sclerotherapy. Any mild discomfort is temporary and should subside within a few days.
What areas does sclerotherapy treat?
Sclerotherapy can treat varicose and spider veins in the thighs, calves, ankles, feet, and face. The most common areas varicose and spider veins form are in the legs and feet.
What can I expect when I visit your office?
When you visit our office, you’ll complete a patient health history form and meet with one of our vein specialists. You’ll receive a physical exam to determine if sclerotherapy is right for you and plan a course of treatment. As part of the exam, an ultrasound device helps your doctor assess the condition of your veins.
Will I need to be hospitalized or take time off work?
All of the treatments at VeinSolutions are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning a hospital visit and stay are not required. Some patients are ready to return to work or other activities right after their procedure, but prolonged sitting, standing, and heavy exercise should be avoided for several days following sclerotherapy.
What happens to treated veins after sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy causes the treated veins to collapse which routes the blood flow through healthier veins. The collapsed veins are then gradually reabsorbed by your body, where they eventually fade.
Won’t sclerotherapy reduce blood flow?
By treating spider and varicose veins with sclerotherapy, blood circulation improves. Spider and varicose veins lack proper blood flow. Sclerotherapy closes off these veins and reroutes the blood flow through other, healthier veins, so circulation should improve.
How long does it take to see results from sclerotherapy?
If you receive treatment for small varicose veins or spider veins, results are usually complete within 3 to 6 months. If you receive treatment for large varicose veins, full results may take 6 to 12 months to see.