Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that eliminates varicose veins and involves an injection into the affected varicose vein. Sclerotherapy solutions can cause vein scarring, which causes blood to flow through an alternate route and the varicose vein to die and be absorbed back into the body.
After sclerotherapy, the treated veins fade and eventually disappear. In some patients, total success may be achieved in one session but might require follow-up appointments.
You will lie on your back with your legs slightly raised for the procedure. After cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol, we will slowly inject the solution into the appropriate vein using a fine needle. The solution, usually in liquid form, works by irritating the vein’s lining, causing it to swell and blocking blood flow. Over time, the vein will turn into scar tissue and disappear.
After the needle is removed, our cardiology associates compress and massage the area to prevent blood from entering the inserted blood vessel and disperse the solution. The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins to be treated.
Walking and moving your legs are essential to prevent blood clots from forming. In addition, you will be required to wear compression stockings or bandages, usually for about two weeks, to maintain pressure on the treated vein. Most people will resume normal activities on the same day, but not driving after the procedure may be preferable.
During this period, you also need to avoid exposure to sunlight in the treatment area. Inflammation caused by the injection combined with sun exposure can cause dark spots on the skin, especially if your skin is already very dark. If you have been treated for mild varicose veins or spider veins, you can usually see final results within three to six weeks.
Multiple treatments may be required to achieve the desired results. Veins that respond to treatment typically do not return, but new veins may appear. A follow-up visit approximately one month after your procedure will determine if the procedure worked well and if you need additional sessions. Typically, you will need to wait about six weeks before having another sclerotherapy session.