How the Procedure is Done
Following an initial consultation, your doctor will determine whether you are eligible for sclerotherapy. If so, you will be advised to discontinue the use of any medication such as over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, or diet pills. You should also avoid applying lotion to your legs prior the procedure.
During sclerotherapy, the surgeon will inject a salt solution into a vein through a fine needle. Initially, you may experience slight discomfort or cramping for a few minutes as the solution takes effect in a large vein. This procedure takes about 30 minutes to finish depending on the number of varicose veins to be removed.
Possible Side Effects of Sclerotherapy
Those who undergo this medical procedure may experience side effects that are mild and tolerable. After sclerotherapy, you may notice red, raised portions at the injection site. Itchiness and bruising in these areas may also occur and can last for a few days or weeks. In addition, some veins that were injected with the solution may become lumpy and hard. Brown spots or lines are also likely to occur and will usually disappear within a few months.
Some patients experience neovascularization, or the formation of small blood vessels at the injected area. These veins may fade after about twelve months, even without the use of medication. While most side effects are mild, you should notify your doctor when you experience alarming discomfort such as a sudden swelling in your leg, inflammation near your groin, small ulcers at the injected area, and allergic reactions to the salt solution.
What To Expect After the Procedure
Your doctor will advise you to wear a special type of hosiery to support and compress the blood vessels in your legs. It is important that you avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen for about 48 hours after the procedure. You should also avoid hot baths, direct exposure to sunlight, saunas and hot compresses after treatment. Generally, large veins respond after about four months of treatment, and you will notice significant improvements on your spider veins after three to six weeks. Most veins do not reappear, although you may have to see your doctor if new veins appear.
Sclerotherapy is an effective method of eliminating varicose veins and spider veins. If you experience discomfort and pain in your legs because of varicose veins, you should visit a specialist for a consultation. Bay Surgical Specialists can help you determine the best solution to your concerns. These Board Certified surgeons have expertise in several areas of practice, including vascular, laparoscopic, breast, and general surgery.