Many patients with spider veins or varicose veins feel self-conscious about their appearance or face irritating or painful symptoms. Sclerotherapy is a treatment option which has been in use for decades. This treatment effectively removes damaged and visible veins. Patients in the Poulsbo, Washington area can turn to West Sound Dermatology for sclerotherapy treatment.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a medical treatment for varicose veins or spider veins. The treatment involves the injection of a solution directly into the damaged vein. This solution then irritates the lining of the treated vein, causing it to swell and collapse. Gradually, the body will reroute blood flow through a healthy nearby vein and the treated spider or varicose vein will become scar tissue and will no longer be visible. Sclerotherapy also helps relieve pain or discomfort associated with varicose veins.
After Sclerotherapy treatment, no downtime is required. You may drive yourself home and immediately return to your normal routine. Your provider will encourage you to walk and instruct you to wear compression stockings or wraps. You should avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications including aspirin or ibuprofen, taking a hot bath or directly exposing the treated area to sunlight.
Most patients will see their spider veins subside about 3-6 weeks after sclerotherapy. Larger varicose veins may take up to 3-4 months to disappear. Veins that respond to treatment should not reappear. However, new spider veins or varicose veins may emerge. In this case, you can repeat sclerotherapy.
Does sclerotherapy work immediately?
Sclerotherapy does take time to work, but the wait is worth it for these permanent results. Most spider veins will subside in about 3-6 weeks after sclerotherapy but larger varicose veins can take up to 4 months to disappear. It often takes a series of 3 treatments to provide long-lasting results.
Who is a good candidate for sclerotherapy?
If you feel self-conscious about prominent veins and are not currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, sclerotherapy may be a great treatment for you! You should also be cautious about this treatment if you have had issues with blood clotting or taking long-term blood thinners.
What should I avoid after sclerotherapy?
After sclerotherapy, you should avoid anti-inflammatory medications, hot baths, and sun exposure. During the first two days, strenuous exercise needs to be avoided.
How long does it take for veins to heal after sclerotherapy?
Spider veins will take about 3-6 weeks to heal and disappear, but larger veins can take 3-4 months to heal. These larger varicose veins have more swelling and therefore need more time to heal.
How do I get the best results from sclerotherapy?
After sclerotherapy, wear compression socks for at least 2-3 weeks, elevate the treated area, and take at least one daily walk to promote blood circulation and prevent clotting. Regular use of support hosiery can help prevent recurrence and development od new varicosities. To encourage long-term results, regular exercise and keeping your weight in check is ideal.
What is the fastest way to recover from sclerotherapy?
For a quick recovery after sclerotherapy, wear your compression socks for at least two weeks after treatment, take at least one daily walk (30-60 minutes), and leave your bandages in place for two days after the procedure. You should also avoid anti-inflammatory medications for a week since these can cause blood thinning.
What areas can be treated with sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy can treat visible veins on the arms, legs, hands, and feet. However, it is rarely used on parts of the body aside from legs.
How long after sclerotherapy can I shower?
You should avoid hot showers for a couple days after your treatment since the warm temperatures can increase blood flow and affect the results. Your bandages or compression hose also need to be kept dry for two days to help your injection sites heal properly.
What are the side effects of sclerotherapy?
Although this is a safe procedure, there are some risks associated with sclerotherapy. Discoloration of the vein may occur with temporary brown pigment of the vein. Inflammation, discomfort, blood clots, and infection are possible so it is important to follow your doctor’s recommended recovery instructions. On rare occasions, a permanent scar can occur. Finally, our bodies are always creating new or recurrent veins.