Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a medication into the affected veins that decreases their visibility and restores a more youthful appearance to the legs. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat veins ranging from less than 1 millimeter (spider veins) up to 8 millimeters (medium-sized varicose veins).
How does the procedure work?
Your physician will use a vein light transilluminator and tiny, 30-gauge needles to inject a chemical irritant, called a sclerosant, into the veins. This medication damages the wall of the vein and causes it to close and to be absorbed by the body and disappear over time. The injection is virtually painless. Preparation for the procedure includes shaving the extremity the night before and avoid oils and lotions. Alcohol is used for sterilization and to make the skin more transparent. This simple, outpatient procedure is completed in 30-minute sessions. One to six treatments may be required, depending on the extent of varicose and spider veins present.
What happens after the procedure?
You will be asked to walk around our office for 15 minutes before discharge to check for postoperative bleeding and to ensure proper fitting of your compression stockings. Compression stockings should be worn for 24 to 36 hours straight. Our doctor may advise you to wear them longer, depending on the type of treatment you receive. You will be able to drive home and participate in normal activities, but you will need to avoid heavy lifting, high impact aerobics, hot tubs and long hot baths for one week. You also need to avoid direct sunlight.
Am I a good candidate for sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a very common and well-tolerated method for eliminating varicose and spider veins. However, it is not appropriate for patients who are pregnant, on blood thinners or are unable to walk and stand for extended periods. It is also not an option for patients suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or acute illness.
Contact UR Vein Center to learn more or to schedule an appointment at our New Brunswick, Warren or Edison locations.