Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that has been used since the 1930s, to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins.
involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. With an overall success rate of 50 to 80 percent in eliminating treated veins, let’s learn more about
How does Sclerotherapy Work?
The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Each vein usually requires one to three treatments.
Candidates for Sclerotherapy
A dermatologist or vascular specialist will decide if you and your veins are a good candidate for the procedure. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend on the overall health of the area needing treatment. Veins that are potentially usable for future heart bypass surgery will generally not be considered for sclerotherapy. Pregnant women are not eligible.
How is Sclerotherapy Performed?
The salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. Mild discomfort and cramping may occur for one to two minutes. The number of veins injected in one session varies, and depends on the size and location of the veins. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes and is performed in the doctor’s office by a dermatologist or a surgeon.
What to Expect After the Procedure
If you were treated for small varicose veins or
, you can usually expect to see definitive results in three to six weeks. Larger veins may require three to four months. Treated veins generally do not come back, but new veins may appear. Avoid any aerobic activity for a couple days after the procedure.
Side Effects of Sclerotherapy
You may experience some of the following side effects after sclerotherapy; however, always consult your doctor if you experience side effects.
- Itching can last for one or two days after the procedure
- Raised, red areas at the injection site
- Bruising around the injection site
- Brown lines or spots may appear at the vein site but should disappear within three to six months.
To discuss your spider vein treatment or varicose vein treatment with our top Chicago vein doctor,
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