Sclerotherapy – Things You Should Know

spider-veisclerotherapy treatment specialist midtown nycSclerotherapy is a procedure done to remove spider veins and varicose veins. It involves an injection, usually of a salt solution, which is directly injected in the vein. The solution causes irritation to blood vessel, resulting in swelling and sticking together of the blood vessel and clotting of blood. In due course, the vessel is converted to scar tissue that becomes invisible. Sclerotherapy is a time-tested procedure used since the 1930s.

Who should Get Sclerotherapy Done?

Before considering whether you can get sclerotherapy or not, you will have to consult a vascular medicine specialist or dermatologist who will examine you to determine whether you can undergo sclerotherapy. You cannot undergo the procedure if you are pregnant, but can do it if you take contraceptives. If you had a incident of blood clot, your candidature will be determined on an individual basis and also upon the general health of the part requiring the treatment and reason behind the clot.

Veins that can be potentially used for future heart bypass procedure are often not considered for sclerotherapy unless they are already considered unusable.

What Happens in Sclerotherapy?

In majority of sclerotherapy procedures, the saline solution is injected directly in the vein, using a very fine needle. Mild discomfort and cramping may be felt by the patient for a minute or two, particularly when larger veins are involved. The procedure lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes.

The location, size and overall medical condition of the patient decide the number of veins to be injected in one session. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office and you shouldn’t perform any aerobic activity after the procedure for a few days.

How to Prepare for Sclerotherapy?

You will have to stop taking certain medications before sclerotherapy. Consult your doctor about all medications you take including OTC drugs, dietary supplements and herbs). Also you should not apply any lotion to legs before the procedure.

Some doctors even advise to avoid ibuprofen, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications for around 48 to 72 hours before the procedure. However, Tylenol is not supposed to affect sclerotherapy.

What are the Side Effects?

There are some mild side effects of sclerotherapy, like itching, which lasts for only 1-2 days. You may also experience red, elevated areas at the site of injection. These too disappear within just a few days. There may also be bruising around the site of injection; but it lasts for many days or even weeks.

Other Side Effects

There may be some other side effects too, like:

  • If the vein that has been injected is big it may become hard and lumpy and may need many months to fade.
  • At the site of vein, brown spots or lines may occur. These mostly vanish within 3 to 6 months, but they may even persist indefinitely.
  • There may be neovascularization, i.e. development of new small blood vessels, at the site of the procedure. They can occur within days or weeks but normally fade within 3 to 12 months without any treatment.

What to Expect after Sclerotherapy?

You need not stay in the hospital after the procedure. You may drive to and from the doctor’s office and resume to your work and other activities immediately. Walking is recommended. Also you will have to wear hosiery to keep the treated vessels compressed.

At you will find more information about sclerotherapy which you should go through because if you are planning of this procedure, it will be a lot of use to you.