WHAT IS Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a technique utilizing a series of injections of a sclerosing medication into spider veins and minor varicose veins. The use of a sclerosing agent causes the vessel lining to become sticky and the two sides adhere to each other. This coming together of the vessel lining is further promoted through the use of external compression via taping cotton balls on to the procedure. The combination of the procedure and the recommendations following the treatment causes the blood supply to the specific vessel to be reduced significantly/completely. As a result of the vessel not receiving this blood supply the vessel is reabsorbed into the system through the healing process and the vein is not longer visible.
What should sclerotherapy be considered?
This treatment is recommended to patients that have symptomatic varicosities and/or cosmetic spider veins.
What are the advantages of sclerotherapy?
Using the sclerotherapy technique the treatment takes approximately 45 minutes, is performed in the office, and requires no time off from work. Surgical treatments (ligation or stripping) are necessary under certain situations. Accompanying surgical treatments are unsightly, painful scars, and time off from work.
What can be expected from sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy can dramatically reduce large and small veins. Symptoms resulting from distended veins should disappear. As this treatment involves injections there is the potential for minor local inflammation to occur; usually discomfort is minimal. Bruising may last 3-4 weeks and brownish staining may occasionally last a few months.
Support/compression stockings are recommended for 5-7 days following treatment.
Serious but rare complications include phlebitis, infection, allergic reaction and skin ulcers.
How to prepare for sclerotherapy?
Avoid taking Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications for 10 days prior to treatment (this will reduce the amount of bruising that may result from the treatment).
* Disregard this recommendation if you are taking a small dose Aspirin at the recommendation of your physician for cardiovascular health
The Day of the treatment:
Avoid waxing or shaving your legs
Avoid using skin creams on your legs so that the tapes required for treatment will stick to your legs
Bring support/compression stockings to wear after the treatment
Eat regular meals
Bring shorts to wear during treatment if you prefer
Bring pants or a long skirt to wear following the procedure
After Sclerotherapy Treatment:
Wear support/compression hose immediately and daily for 5-7 days (do not wear the stockings to bed)
Walk for 10 minutes immediately following the procedure
Remove the cotton balls in 2 hours Avoid strenuous activity (aerobics) for the first 48 hours (avoiding this will lessen the bruising). Showers are fine but avoid baths for 2 weeks
If your legs become painful after injections walk for 30 minutes, elevate, and/or apply ice
No tanning for 5 days (if outdoors use sunscreen to avoid a striped tan where the tapes have been)
Call us if a rash, hives, inflammation or any other concerns develop
*Currently we are only treating spider veins and small varicose veins.