Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that is used to get rid of varicose and spider veins. Sclerotherapy procedures involve an injection of a solution (usually a salt solution) into the vein. This solution affects the lining of the blood vessel, this will cause the blood vessel’s lining to swell and stick together, the blood to clot, and eventually the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades.
Those who are interested on sclerotherapy, will need to begin with an initial consultation with a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist. It is this specialist who will decide if you’re a candidate for the procedure, not someone who would face increased risks. For instance, pregnant women are not eligible for this procedure, histories of blood clots will also effect eligibility.
Those who go through with this treatment will experience, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes when the solution is injected into the veins, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure is quite short, and it only takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. The number of veins injected per session depends on factors including the size and location of the veins, in addition to the general medical condition of the patient. Following therapy you need to avoided aerobic activity for a few days.
Side effects of Sclerotherapy may include itching, which can last for a couple of days after the procedure, or raised, red areas at the injection site – this should quickly disappear within a few days. There is also the potential for bruising around the injection site, this can last several days or weeks. Some less common and more serious veins include the possibility of veins that becoming lumpy and hard, these may require several months to fade and dissolve. People may also have brown lines or spots at the vein site, these usually disappear within three to six months, but could also last indefinitely. Some also get Neovascularization which is the development of new, tiny blood vessels, these could occur at the site of sclerotherapy treatment. These can appear days or weeks after the procedure, these should, however, fade within three to twelve months.
If you think that this is a possible treatment for you, don’t hesitate to discuss this with your doctor. If you are seeing a specialist, don’t forget to include your medical history. It is important that you choose the option that is best for your health, not simply appearance. Although this treatment is thought to be safe – this is on a case to case basis, varicose and spider veins are not medical issues but aesthetic, however, removing them is definitely a medical procedure.