Sclerotherapy is a simple, non-invasive and effective medical procedure to treat spider veins and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution – usually a salt solution – directly into the affected veins. The injected solution generates a feel of irritation along the blood vessel lining and causes it to collapse. As a result, the blood vessels come closer and blood starts clotting. The vessels grow into scar tissues over time and disappear slowly.
Sclerotherapy Procedure, a tried and tested therapy to treat spider and varicose veins, has been in application since the 1930s.
Who are the Right Candidates for Sclerotherapy Treatment?
It’s not possible to undergo Sclerotherapy treatment without a dermatologist’s advice. Consult with your doctor or vascular medicine expert and leave it to the professional to decide if you are the right candidate for the non-invasive procedure.
Pregnant women are not eligible for Sclerotherapy. However, taking birth control pills won’t be an issue in this regard. In case a patient has a history of blood clotting, a case-to-case study is done to determine his or her eligibility. At the same time, the dermatologist will also check the overall health of the affected area as well as enquire about the cause of blood clotting to finally decide if the patient is a good candidate for Sclerotherapy procedure.
How is Sclerotherapy Done?
In most cases, a very fine needle is used to inject the salt solution into the affected vein. Some people feel mild sensation and cramping, especially in the larger veins, but such discomfort will go away after 1-2 minutes. The procedure will take nearly 15-30 minutes to complete.
The number of veins treated in one session depends on a few factors including the size and site of the veins as well as the patient’s overall medical condition.
Only an experienced dermatologist or surgeon is able to perform Sclerotherapy. The patients are not allowed to engage in aerobic activities for a few days after the treatment.
What Should You Do before Sclerotherapy?
You should stop taking certain medications before a Sclerotherapy procedure. The surgeon will ask about your medical history to know if you have any chronic problem and take medicines for that. Inform your doctor if you take over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements and herbs. In case, you need an antibiotic before the procedure, talk to your doctor about it. Make sure not to apply any lotion on the affected veins before your procedure.
Some dermatologists advise patients not to take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory medicines for 48-72 hours before Sclerotherapy. However, no such restriction applies to Tylenol.
What are the Side-Effects of Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy has some minor side effects including itching that can continue for 1-2 days after the procedure. You may also experience red and raised areas at the site of injection. These milder issues usually go away within a few days. Bruising may appear around the injection area and can remain for days or even weeks.
What to Avoid after Sclerotherapy?
After Sclerotherapy, you should postpone the followings for 48 hours:
- Hot baths
- Hot compresses
- Exposure to sunlight
- Saunas or whirlpools
Showers are allowed but you should use water cooler than usual. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash injection sites.