Has your vein doctor recommended sclerotherapy treatment for the spider veins or varicose veins on your legs?
If so, here are four sclerotherapy facts to learn before starting treatment.
Not all types of varicose or spider veins are the same, which is why there are a number of effective, advanced treatments available for problem veins. Sclerotherapy treatment is typically the treatment of choice for spider veins and for small varicose veins. In fact, at Metro Vein Centers, our board-certified doctors and surgeons refer to it as the gold standard for eliminating unsightly spider veins.
What to Expect During and After Sclerotherapy Treatment
Sclerotherapy treatment, a type of microfoam injection, is the #1 FDA-approved treatment of choice for treating spider veins and smaller varicose veins. If your vein doctor has recommended sclerotherapy for you, there are a few things you’ll probably want to know about the treatment itself—and about what to expect after your treatment.
1. Sclerotherapy is a Quick Treatment—Under 15 Minutes
Sclerotherapy treatment itself doesn’t take very long at all. Typically, the process takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, and it can be done right in your vein doctor’s clinic. We have several Metro Vein Centers vein clinics across Michigan, New York, and New Jersey, and sclerotherapy is quickly and safely performed right in every one of our offices.
For your sclerotherapy procedure, you’ll lay down on a doctor’s table with your legs elevated. Then, the vein doctor will numb the area and prepare a medicated microfoam that will be injected into the affected veins. You’ll just feel tiny pinches, and can choose to lay back or watch the treatment happen (as many do!). The injected solution causes the veins to seal off and eventually be reabsorbed by your body.
While sclerotherapy doesn’t always mean instant results, it's sometimes possible to watch your spider veins seemingly disappear right before your eyes when getting treatment. And while not all results are immediate, the sclerotherapy will be working hard to erase damaged veins under the surface of the skin, and full results take several weeks to achieve.
Sclerotherapy Side Effects
2. There are Very Few Side Effects with Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is FDA-approved and has been the gold standard for spider vein treatment for many years. It is extremely rare to have serious side effects, but a few temporary side effects can occur. Since the chemical solution injected into your veins is meant to irritate the veins, some people do feel a bit of discomfort, such as stinging or cramping, in the treated area. You might also feel a pinch when the needle is inserted into the vein. These side effects are only temporary and will disappear quickly.
After treatment, mild side effects might occur, such as bruising or a reddening of the skin near the treated area. These side effects usually resolve on their own after a few days. In rare cases, discoloration of the skin near the treatment area can last for weeks or months afterward.
Sclerotherapy Recovery and Healing
3. Sclerotherapy Has a Short Recovery Time
The recovery period after sclerotherapy typically doesn’t interrupt people’s lives or schedules. Still, winter is a great time to do it so that come shorts weather, your legs will be 100% ready.
Following treatment, it’s advised that you get up and walk a bit in order to help the blood flow through the veins and to minimize the risk for blood clots. You’ll be able to get back to work or other regularly scheduled activities the same day.
Your doctor will most likely recommend that you wear compression stockings for a few days after treatment, and that you avoid prolonged sun exposure. The stockings will put a gentle pressure on the legs, allowing the treated veins to fade and helping to keep new spider veins from forming.
While recovery is short, it does take a few weeks for the spider veins to cosmetically disappear. While initially it may look like the spider veins disappear immediately, they stay red for a few weeks (underneath the surface of your skin) and begin to fade over time.
4. Multiple Treatments Might Be Needed
Depending on the size and area of your spider veins—and how many you have—you may need a series of sclerotherapy treatments. The treatments are often spaced a few weeks apart. Even after a series of treatments, it can take as long as two months before the final results from sclerotherapy are visible. Once your spider veins are gone, results do last a long time, although they are not necessarily permanent.
What to Expect After Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy has multiple uses and can be used to treat both painful varicose veins or simply cosmetic spider veins. However, unlike endovenous laser ablation or microphlebectomy, it will not treat the underlying cause of vein disease in the larger veins under the surface. It’s important to talk to your vein doctor about what to expect during your appointment to understand if sclerotherapy is the right treatment option for you. Ultimately, if the underlying cause of the problem veins is not treated, the veins are more likely to come back over time.
Sclerotherapy Spider Vein Treatment Results
Our patients get truly amazing results with sclerotherapy. In addition to sclerotherapy, Metro Vein Centers offers quite a few different vein treatment options, and with 17 offices in Michigan, New Jersey, and New York, it’s easy to set up an appointment and learn about all your options.
Sometimes, the best treatment plan is a combination of procedures in order to get the most optimal results. Your doctor will determine the right treatments for you, and our office staff will help understand how your insurance will cover treatment if the procedures are medically necessary.
Sclerotherapy Treatment at Metro Vein Centers
If you’re ready to safely say goodbye to your varicose and spider veins, contact us today to schedule a consultation!
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Trusted insight from the nationally accredited, board-certified vein doctors at Metro Vein Centers.