What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure for spider veins and small varicose veins. The procedure involves injecting a medicine called a sclerosant into the spider veins. The sclerosant medicine irritates the vein’s walls, making them stick together and harden into scar tissues. The accumulated blood reroutes into healthier veins, facilitating effective blood circulation.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Spider veins and small varicose veins are essentially dilated blood vessels with accumulated blood. Sclerotherapy treats spider veins by sealing the diseased blood vessels’ walls, which allows the accumulated blood to flow into healthier veins, restoring effective blood circulation. The diseased veins, meanwhile, get absorbed by the body and fade away from the skin’s surface.
Sclerotherapy is performed by a licensed vein doctor as an in-office and outpatient treatment. The procedure concludes within 30 minutes, depending on the number of spider veins, following which you can resume your daily activities.
During sclerotherapy, the vein doctor elevates the affected leg and injects the sclerosant medicine into the targeted spider veins. Each diseased vein receives one injection, so the total number of injections depends on the number of spider veins. If all spider veins can’t be addressed in one session, the vein doctor may schedule another appointment.
Once the sclerosant medicine is injected, the spider veins’ walls fuse together, eventually turning into hardened scar tissues. The accumulated blood freely reroutes into healthier leg veins, restoring effective blood circulation to the heart. Over time, the scar tissues are metabolized by the body and fade away from the skin’s surface.
Sclerotherapy doesn’t involve downtime, so you can resume your daily activities immediately. However, you’ll have to wear compression stockings for a few days to ensure optimal recovery.
Sclerotherapy: No Pain or Discomfort
During the sclerotherapy, you only need one injection per spider vein, and each injection will be accompanied by a mild cramping or burning sensation for a few seconds. In some cases, multiple sessions may be necessary to treat all the spider veins. However, in most cases, sclerotherapy is completely comfortable and painless, with minimal post-treatment discomfort.
What are the Benefits & Drawbacks of Sclerotherapy Treatment?
Benefits of Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
- No Preparation: You don’t need to prepare for the treatment. All you have to do is appear for your appointment.
- Painless: The sclerotherapy treatment only involves one injection per spider vein. You may experience mild discomfort, but there’s no pain.
- No Hospitalization: Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure with no hospitalization or downtime.
- Convenient: You can resume your daily activities immediately, so you don’t have to take time off work. As such, sclerotherapy doesn’t disrupt your daily schedule.
Drawbacks of Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
- Limitations: Sclerotherapy isn’t necessarily suitable for all patients with all kinds of vein problems. Your vein doctor will assess your specific condition to determine if you’re a viable candidate.
- Only for Spider Veins: Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure only suitable for spider veins and small varicose veins. If you have large varicose veins or underlying vein disease, the vein doctor may recommend other treatments.
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