What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate spider veins. It involved an injection of a solution directly into the vein which irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and clot, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The spider or varicose vein eventually fades. It has been the preferred treatment since the 1930s.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. They commonly appear in the legs and feet. They can either be a simple cosmetic concern or can cause aching pain and discomfort. They can be caused by age or pregnancy. As you get older, your veins lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves then become weak, allowing blood to flow backward. Some pregnant women develop spider veins due to the increase in volume of blood in your body.
Why choose sclerotherapy for spider veins?
- It is a minimally invasive treatment
- It can improve aching, swelling, burning, and night cramps that associate with these veins
- Each treatment results in elimination of 50-80 percent of the injected veins
- Sessions are an average of 15 to 30 minutes
- There is no downtime other than avoiding strenuous activities for the first week
If you are pregnant or have deep veins, you are not eligible for this procedure.
What you need to know:
- The procedure is performed in the doctor’s office
- It doesn’t require anesthesia and can take 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the extent of the veins
- Some patients experience minor stinging or cramps when the needle is inserted into the vein
- The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins being treated
What is the recovery time?
After the procedure, you will be able to resume daily activities (walking is encouraged). You will be instructed to wear support hosiery to compress treated veins. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 48 hours. Also avoid hot baths, hot compresses, whirlpools, saunas, and direct exposure to sunlight.