What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a method of injecting varicose veins with a solution that causes the vein wall to become sticky. Compression is then applied, which causes the vein to close up and eventually be absorbed by the body. Sclerotherapy generally requires several treatment sessions. The majority of patients with small varicosity can be effectively treated with sclerotherapy. Currently, a newer approach of using foam as a sclerosing agent is employed with improved results.
How is sclerotherapy done?
Sclerotherapy is performed in our office. Patients undergo sclerotherapy with an injection through a very fine needle. Most patients are able to tolerate the procedure without much discomfort. After the procedure, compression bandage and stockings are applied to the leg. You should wear compression stockings continuously for three days, and then during the day for one additional week.
What you need to do before the procedure?
If you have compression hosiery from previous treatments, please bring them with you so we can make sure they will provide adequate support after the sclerotherapy procedure. You can also purchase compression stockings in our office.
What are the side effects of sclerotherapy?
Certain side effects may be experienced after sclerotherapy. Larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving. Raised red areas may appear at the injection sites and should disappear within a few days. Brown lines or spots on the skin may be noted at the site of the injection. In most cases, they disappear within three to six months. Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks.
What happens after the treatment?
After the treatment, you will be able to drive yourself home. You may resume your regular activities and are encouraged to walk one mile daily. You will be instructed to wear support hosiery or compression wraps to "compress" the treated vessels. You should wear compression stockings continuously for three days and then during the day for an additional week. Stockings can be purchased at the vein center.
Do not take hot baths or sit in a whirlpool or sauna, nor apply hot compresses or any form of heat to the injected areas for 72 hours after treatment. In addition, avoid direct exposure to sunlight (sun bathing and tanning beds), and running for seven days after the procedure.