What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that treats spider veins by collapsing them through the use of a solvent. Spider veins are most commonly found on the legs but patients can also receive sclerotherapy on their hands and chest. Sclerotherapy has been in use since the 1930s with great success and produces increasingly effective medical and cosmetic results.
Candidates for sclerotherapy treatment are typically troubled by spider veins, either because they find them unattractive or because they experience uncomfortable symptoms. Men or women who are experiencing symptoms can visit our office for a consultation with Dr. Tracy Evans. After a consultation, patients may decide that treatment is right for them.
Symptoms of Spider Veins
Patients that experience symptoms from their spider veins may commonly experience:
The Sclerotherapy Procedure
Sclerotherapy has proven to be a safe procedure and is performed as an outpatient procedure. Typically, sclerotherapy treatment takes less than an hour. However, this will depend on how many injections are required and the number of veins being treated. Patients do not require an anesthetic and usually report little or no discomfort during the procedure, though some patients report experiencing a very mild burning sensation. In some instances, several sclerotherapy sessions may be necessary.
During sclerotherapy, Dr. Evans will inject a solution of saline and a sclerosant into the damaged veins. This causes irritation in the affected veins and as a result, they eventually collapse. When the weakened veins collapse, the body reabsorbs them and other healthier veins take place in the circulatory system.
Since sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure, patients are able to return home shortly after treatment. Most patients choose to return to work and normal daily activities the next day. We recommend that patients avoid exercise, avoid strenuous activities, and wear compression bandages for a week or two. Some improvement is immediately noticeable, however, full results can take up to a month to appear. In order to promote vascular health and to preserve your sclerotherapy treatment results, Dr. Evans recommends that patients maintain a healthy weight and exercise daily.
What are the risks of sclerotherapy?
As with any medical procedure, there are certain risks associated with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is considered a safe procedure but certain minimal, temporary side effects can occur. More serious complications are rare. These mild side effects include:
- Air bubbles
- Allergic reaction to sclerosant
- Blood clots
- Nerve Damage