If a patient has varicose veins, spider veins, or venous insufficiencies, a doctor may recommend treatments like Sclerotherapy. It is a non-invasive and nearly painless treatment for vein problems. This therapy can be carried out at a doctor’s office with the assistance of qualified personnel, so you don’t have to stay in the hospital. We will discuss the Sclerotherapy procedure. What is Sclerotherapy, and how will it be defined? What are its applications, methodology, advantages, drawbacks, and safety measures? This article will give you all the beneficial information about Sclerotherapy.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
It is a medical treatment in which a solution is injected into the vein. The remedy causes blood to clot in the blood vessel, closing the vein’s end and preventing blood from pooling inside or outside the blood vessel. The doctor will thoroughly review the medical history before recommending this treatment. It is not recommended for pregnant women or those with other medical conditions, including a history of blood clots or heart conditions. Additionally, not all the veins can be treated with Sclerotherapy, particularly veins linked to the heart.
What Is The Procedure For Sclerotherapy?
After diagnosing your venous insufficiencies, the doctor will examine your overall health and medical history. After finding out if you are a suitable candidate for Sclerotherapy or not, your doctor will give you the instructions and a date for the procedure. Your doctor can ask for ultrasound imaging of the veins in your legs, depending on which veins are complicated. Ultrasound is a painless process that creates images of internal body structures using sound waves.
The procedure involves injecting a salt solution with a fine needle into your disease vein. Most patients feel mild discomfort or pain when the needle gets into the skin, depending on their pain tolerance. The procedure is not very long, and it takes half an hour. If longer veins are diseased, then the process might take longer because each vein will be needed to get injected separately. After the therapy, you might be unable to perform heavy physical activities for a few days. But after the procedure walking is highly recommended to prevent blood clotting.
How To Prepare For The Procedure?
Following steps you need to follow to prepare for Sclerotherapy:
- Get all the information about the procedure beforehand so that you should know what exactly is going to happen.
- You must explain your medical history to the doctor and all medication you use.
- It is recommended to stop taking medication for other medical conditions before the procedure.
- Avoid using chemicals like lotions and sunscreens on your legs or affected areas before the procedure.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes. Avoid wearing jewelry and accessories on the procedure day.
- Bring your compression stocking with you because it is recommended to wear them after the procedure. It helps with mild inflammation and sensation.
- Avoid using over-the-counter medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, and anti-inflammatory drugs at least two days before the treatment. If there is an emergency need to take any medicine, then inform the doctor before the procedure.
- Even though you can still drive yourself home after the procedure, it is recommended to bring your loved one with you for moral support.
Side Effects Of Sclerotherapy
The following are mild side effects of Sclerotherapy:
- Mild discomfort
- Mild pain
- Redness and discoloration
- Difficulty in performing heavy physical activities
All these symptoms will go away on their own within a few weeks. If these symptoms do not go away after a month, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Severe symptoms of Sclerotherapy include:
- Severe inflammation
- Severe pain
- Swelling on leg
Suppose you experience some of these types of symptoms. In that case, you need to consult the doctor immediately because it might occur due to an allergic reaction, which needs to be treated immediately.
Furthermore, larger veins may become lumpy and stiff after injection, and it may take several months to go completely.
At the injection site, the brown lines or patches on the skin of the legs often go away in three to six months, although they can linger forever.
Neovascularization is the term used to describe the emergence of new, microscopic blood vessels that may take place at the site of sclerotherapy treatment. These tiny veins may form in days or weeks after the procedure, but they should disappear on their own in three to twelve months.
What To Expect After Sclerotherapy?
Soon after the surgery, you can stand up and move around. Walking and moving your legs are necessary to stop the formation of blood clots. To keep compression on the treated veins, you will typically be required to wear compression bandages or stockings for around two weeks.
The majority of people resume their regular activities on the same day. Most likely, your doctor will urge you to wait at least two weeks before engaging in any strenuous activity after the procedure. Additionally, you should avoid exposing the treated areas to sunlight. If you already have dark spots on your skin or have a dark skin tone, the inflammation brought on by the injections, mixed with sun exposure, can cause them to become much darker. Spider veins or varicose veins do not reappear after the sclerotherapy treatment. But the formation of new varicose veins may need further procedure. More prominent veins may respond to a method in four to five months, but spider veins may take three to six weeks.