The Ins and Outs of a Sclerotherapy Session

Spider veins rarely pose a serious health threat, but they can be annoying and displeasing to the eye. Like many, you may seek spider veins New York treatment for aesthetic reasons or to eliminate bothersome symptoms. Dermatologists use various treatments to treat spider veins, ranging from self-care measures to minor surgery. This article discusses the most common treatment for spider veins – sclerotherapy.

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting a chemical solution directly into the damaged vein, causing its walls to swell, stick together, and close shut. As such, blood redirects to healthier veins, and the collapsed vein fades within a few weeks. Although the veins tend to fade away within a few weeks, sometimes they don’t disappear completely; it might take a month or more before you notice full results. Other veins require more than one sclerotherapy session.

What to expect during sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is typically performed at your doctor’s or dermatologic surgeon’s office; it takes 15 to 30 minutes and does not require anesthesia. The exact duration of the procedure varies depending on the size of the area being treated and the number of veins.

During treatment, you will lie on your back slightly raised. Before the doctor injects the solution, a member of your health team cleans the area to be treated. Next, the doctor carefully injects the solution into the vein, irritating the lining. As a result, the vein well and shuts, blocking blood flow. You may feel some minor stinging or cramping as the needle goes into the vein; this shouldn’t hurt a lot, so inform your doctor if it does. Intense pain might result from the solution leaking into nearby tissues.

The doctor will gently remove the needle, apply pressure to the injection site, and massage the area; this helps spread the solution and keep blood out of the collapsed vein. Before moving on to the next vein, the doctor tapes a pad on the injection site to keep pressure on the area.

After sclerotherapy

Your doctor will encourage you to walk around after treatment to keep blood clots from forming. For about two weeks, you will wear compression stockings to keep pressure on the treated veins. You want to avoid shaving your leg or applying lotion until the site heals. You can resume your regular activities immediately after, but you want someone to drive you home. Your healthcare provider recommends avoiding vigorous or intense exercise for about two weeks after sclerotherapy. Avoid exposing the treated areas to the sun for two weeks after treatment to avoid dark spots from forming. If you need to go out, use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF; this applies even on cloudy days.

How soon are the results evident?

Sclerotherapy results usually take three to six months for them to show. However, sometimes your doctor may need to repeat the treatment on different visits to get the results you desire.

If you have further questions about spider veins treatment, consult your doctor at Upper East Side Cardiology.

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