Sclerotherapy For Leg Veins
Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs. As we age, our existing veins can become much more noticeable as a result of standing for prolonged periods of time, sitting with crossed legs, problems with the valves in deeper veins, and most commonly – genetics. There is a simple treatment for this problem. Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes a sclerosing solution that when injected into a vein causes it to become inflamed, shrink down, and eventually disappear as a result of the body’s immune response.
Sclerotherapy was developed over 75 years ago and is currently one of the most popular treatments for spider veins, telangiectatic and reticular veins. Depending upon the types of veins treated, a combination of different treatment modalities may be suggested. Several treatments may be required to achieve optimum results. In some cases as few as 1-2 treatments will suffice.
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Sclerotherapy uses an injection of a special chemical called a “sclerosant”, into a vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein. This causes the vein to close, become non-functional and gradually disappear over the next several weeks.
During this procedure, the sclerosant is injected into only the superficial spider veins of the legs, not varicose veins or deeper functional veins. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office and typically takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many spider veins are treated and how big they are.
After the injection of sclerosant is given, a pressure wrap is applied over the veins to prevent blood return when you stand up. You will need to wear compression stockings for several weeks after treatment to maintain this pressure and obtain the best cosmetic results possible.
The sclerotherapy injection may be slightly painful, and the chemical (sclerosant) that is injected can cause a feeling of burning, or at times, cramping for several seconds in the area where the injection was given.
You may need repeated sessions depending on the severity of your veins, the type of sclerosant used, and your own individual response to therapy. Multiple injections are required during each session, depending on the anatomy of your veins.
Sclerotherapy generally does not require any recovery period. You will be able to walk immediately after the treatment, but you will need to avoid exercising for the next 2-3 days.
Bed rest is not recommended after sclerotherapy.
Avoid exposing your legs to the sun for the first 2 weeks after the procedure.
You will have to wear compression stockings for a time after having sclerotherapy performed.
You will see a gradual diminution in the appearance of your veins over the next several weeks and will likely return to the office for a re-evaluation in 3 weeks.