Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy is often considered the treatment of choice in treating spider veins. It is a fairly safe procedure with rare complications. This procedure can help improve the appearance of your spider veins and the uncomfortable effects that come with having them. Many patients choose to treat their spider veins to rid themselves of their sleep disturbance from the night cramps, aching, burning sensation that can be a byproduct of spider veins. Others simply want to get rid of the unappealing look of the veins on their skin
How is Sclerotherapy Done?
The procedure involves injecting a solution, by needle, into the shallow vein. The injected solution will force the vein to scar, not being able to hold the blood that is visible from the outside. When this happens the blood is forces to move and detour through healthier veins.
What Happens to the Vein Afterward?
When the vein scars after the procedure, its original purpose is no longer there. The vein will be reabsorbed by local tissue and will disappear over time. This process of fading usually takes a few weeks though occasionally may take a month or more to see complete results from the Sclerotherapy. In some cases, more than one treatment may need necessary for best results.
Are There Side Effects From Sclerotherapy?
Like with most procedures, there are temporary side effects that may occur after your Sclerotherapy. The injection site may result in small red sores from the actual injection; similar to those you would have after receiving a flu shot as the needle will break the skin in order to touch the vein just under the surface. Other temporary side effects that may occur at the injection site include: bruising, darkened skin in the form of lines or spots, multiple tiny red blood vessels.
Patients heal at a different pace depending on how your body restores itself. In most cases the side effects usually disappear within a few days or weeks. Some side effects can take months or even years to disappear completely.
How to Prepare for Sclerotherapy
Before your procedure, your doctor will gather medical history and perform a routine physical examination of your veins. The doctor will want to be made aware of any medications you currently take, any recent illness, or existing conditions. He will need to be made aware of conditions such as history of blood clotting or a heart condition. Your physician will then evaluate the veins involved in your desired treatment and check underlying blood vessels for disease. If you are currently taking blood thinning medication or aspirin, be prepared for your doctor to instruct you how to stop taking this medicine for a certain amount of time before your procedure. Taking these medications could increase your chances of bleeding during the procedure.
What to Expect on the Day of Your Procedure
Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure that is typically done in your doctor’s office. The procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and normally takes less than an hour to complete.
Veins that responded to treatment generally do not return, but it is possible for new veins to appear. Generally your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit to evaluate the procedure’s success and decide whether further sessions are needed.