Patients are usually advised to avoid aerobic exercise and sun exposure and to stop taking certain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and some antibiotics before the procedure. In addition, patients are asked to shave their legs the night before, but not to use any kind of lotion on their legs.

What To Expect From Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is one of the most common and effective varicose veins treatments available. It is an out-patient procedure that involves injecting a salt solution or other chemical solution that will cause the vein to collapse. When the walls of the vein collapse, they form a seal that prevents any further blood circulation. In this way, the varicose veins gradually disappear.

Consultation

The first step in all varicose veins treatments is a consultation to determine which treatment is appropriate. A patient who is pregnant, is taking birth control pills, or has a history of blood clots may not be a good candidate for sclerotherapy. In addition, veins that might be needed for future by-pass surgery should not be treated with this procedure.

Before The Procedure

Patients are usually advised to avoid aerobic exercise and sun exposure and to stop taking certain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and some antibiotics before the procedure. In addition, patients are asked to shave their legs the night before, but not to use any kind of lotion on their legs. On the day of the procedure, patients are advised to wear shorts or very loose pants that can accommodate thick compression socks.

During The Procedure

Vein Health (5)

An appointment typically takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. First the patient will stand while the doctor marks the injection sites on his or her legs. The injection is performed while the patient is lying down. Most patients experience little to no pain, but some may feel mild burning or brief cramping, especially if the targeted vein is a large one. Right after the injection, the patient will put on compression stockings or bandages in order to maintain pressure on the veins as the collapsed walls heal together. At this point, the patient will need to walk around for about thirty minutes.

After The Procedure

The compression bandages will need to stay on for up to 48 hours while the veins are healing. Not only does the compression help the veins heal, it can minimize bruising and swelling and decrease the risk of blood clots. Common side effects include mild itching, tenderness, and bruising. In addition, the skin may darken somewhat above the affected vein, but the pigmentation generally fades in a few weeks.

For patients who are not good candidates for sclerotherapy, other treatments are available. These can include surgical stripping, endovenous laser ablation, sealing by electrical current, and sealing with vein glue. Individuals who are looking for varicose veins treatments should talk with their doctor or dermatologist to learn about their options.

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