The American College of Phlebology confirms that Sclerotherapy is the gold-standard treatment for small to moderate-sized leg veins. When deciding which treatment is best for your varicose and/or spider veins, consider these facts about Sclerotherapy:
- Results are long lasting and highly successful
- Can be used to treat larger varicose veins
- Can be performed on patients with any skin type or color
What is Sclerotherapy?
Once you have been evaluated at International Vein Clinics and your condition has been properly diagnosed, your physician will discuss treatment options with you. For many patients, the best course of treatment may be a 20 minute in-office procedure involving a series of sclerotherapy injections into the target vein.
Sclerotherapy works by injecting a small amount of medication into the damaged vein. This sclerosing agent will create a minor inflammatory reaction inside the vein, causing it to collapse. By eliminating the damaged vein, which will ultimately be absorbed naturally by the body, blood flow will actually improve as the body re-routes the blood through healthy veins. This procedure is perfect for smaller veins, and when performed early, future complications associated with larger varicose veins can be avoided.
What About the Damaged Veins?
One of the most common questions asked by our patients at International Vein Clinics is, “Don’t I need these veins even though they’re damaged?” The answer is, NO, you don't need them. You have miles of superficial veins in your leg, and a person with spider veins is experiencing issues in only a small portion. Your body is already working to redirect the venous blood flow in your legs through the miles of good veins. When we treat your spider veins to alleviate the backward pressure and incorrect flow, your circulation will improve.
What to Expect with Treatment
Your treatment plan is customized for your specific needs. Every patient’s condition is unique. Some patients may require more than one session, and each session can consist of more than one injection.
Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following the procedure. Medically-prescribed support hose known as a compression stocking may need to be worn for several days after treatment. You will be encouraged to walk regularly during this time, although intense aerobic activity should be avoided for the first few days. The side effects are nearly non-existent with the exception of minor bruising and pigmentation at the injection sites, coupled with a slight itching sensation. Bruising typically disappears within one to two weeks. Although pigmentation almost always fades, it may take several months. Because the sclerosing solution actually closes the feeder veins under the skin that are causing spider veins to form, a recurrence of the spider veins in the treated area is not likely.
How to Prepare for Sclerotherapy Treatment
- Avoid applying lotion to the legs before the procedure.
- Certain medications should also be avoided. Some physicians recommend avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48-72 hours before sclerotherapy. Your International Vein Clinics professional will discuss all your medications including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements you may be taking.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Drink plenty of water the day before and day of treatment.