In this guide, you will learn the following:
- What is sclerotherapy?
- What happens with sclerotherapy for varicose veins?
- How to prepare for sclerotherapy for varicose veins?
- Effectiveness and risk of sclerotherapy for varicose veins
- What do you expect after sclerotherapy?
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is one of the reliable medical procedures to eliminate varicose veins that inject a solution into a damaged vein. This causes the occluded veins to collapse, allowing blood to flow through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is eventually reabsorbed by the tissue and disappears.
What happens with sclerotherapy for varicose veins?
Sclerotherapy involves injecting saline into a damaged vein. This is a day care procedure and is done in the doctor’s office. The treatment does not require anesthesia and takes only 15-20 minutes to complete.
During the procedure, the patient is asked to lie on his back and then raise his legs. The area that needs treatment is then cleaned and a needle is used by the doctor to insert the solution or foam into a vein. The procedure is not painful, but patients can experience mild cramps, stings, and discomfort. The infused solution then stimulates the veins to swell and close the veins, eventually allowing blood to flow in the other direction.
When the solution is infused, the doctor pulls out the needle and gently massages the area to prevent blood flow from the infused vein. The doctor may also tap the compression pad at the surgical site. The number of injections that need to be injected depends on the number and size of varicose veins that need to be treated.
How to prepare for sclerotherapy for varicose veins?
Sclerotherapy is usually performed by a trained and experienced vascular surgeon. The doctor will do a physical examination based on the patient’s previous medical history. During the examination, the patient can discuss with the doctor all possible risks, complications, and outcomes of treatment. Before treatment, the doctor will check if the patient has an underlying vascular disorder.
Sclerotherapy does not require any special preparation, but there are some important things to keep in mind before treatment. If you are pregnant, it is advisable to wait for treatment until delivery. Treatment may not produce the expected results if:
– Have a habit of smoking or taking oral contraceptives. This increases the risk of blood clots.
– There are medical conditions such as coagulopathy and heart disease.
Effectiveness and risk of sclerotherapy for varicose veins
Sclerotherapy is considered to be an effective treatment only for treating small varicose veins. Vascular surgeons suggest surgery as the best and most effective treatment for larger varicose veins.
– This process is minimally invasive and leaves no pain or scars on the skin.
– This treatment is very effective in treating symptoms such as swelling of the skin on the feet, cramps, itching and burning sensation.
– Recovery is very quick. The treated veins take only a few weeks to disappear.
However, treatment also has some drawbacks. In some cases, the patient may require several sessions of sclerotherapy to treat the veins. In addition to this, other common risks that may be seen are:
– Small skin pain
– Darkened skin and skin stains
– When saline is injected into a large vein, the veins become stiff and lumpy, and it can take months for the veins to weaken.
– Brown lines and spots may appear on the surgical site. There is no guarantee how quickly they will disappear. In some cases, it may disappear within 3-4 months, or it may last for a much longer period of time.
– Small blood vessels may appear near the treatment area.
If you experience any of these side effects, please contact your doctor without delay.
- Inflammation within 5 inches of the groin
- Sudden swelling of the legs
- Formation of small ulcers at the surgical site
What do you expect after sclerotherapy?
After treatment, the doctor will check the area for direct side effects. Your doctor will ask you to wear compression stockings to see if you can stand or walk properly. Compression stockings should be worn for 2-3 weeks to maintain proper pressure in the veins. There are no eating habits that need to be followed in the case of sclerotherapy. However, patients should refrain from running, walking stairs, or strenuous exercise for the next few weeks. After the pressure is normal, the patient can return to normal life.