What is Sclerotherapy? The Cure to Vein Pain

While the look of spider veins and varicose veins are not ideal, the health risks attached to them are another matter completely. Chronic Venous Insufficiency can cause certain veins to bulge and weaken in the legs or feet. Tissue damage and even skin rashes can result from this condition, and require a skilled hand in order to treat properly. Sclerotherapy works by injecting an irritant, closing the vein. See if sclerotherapy is the right treatment option for you

Sclerotherapy is not the right treatment for cosmetic issues. Rather, it is often used for more severe cases of varicose veins, including ones that are sore, painful, heavy or include skin issues.

The procedure is considered safer and less invasive than other forms of vascular surgery. During treatment, a vascular specialist injects the veins with a solution that collapses the vein. The entire process is minimally-invasive and takes under an hour. Patients may need a few treatments in order for the procedure to be fully effective. The entire process is recorded to be 75-90 percent effective at removing spider and varicose veins.

Risks and Further Treatment
Like any procedure, sclerotherapy comes with risks. Bruising, redness and pain may occur near the injection site. Avoiding sun exposure to your legs may lower the side effects of treatment. You may also notice brown lines or spots around your legs, or even the appearance of multiple smaller veins. Brown spots are natural and should disappear on their own after a few days, while the smaller veins will go away after a few months. In some cases, further surgery is needed to fully collapse a vein and prevent further damage.

While most patients have minor reactions to the injection solutions, such as itching or bruising, severe reactions do occur in rare cases. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Sudden swelling in the leg
  • Inflammation near the groin
  • Small ulcers at the injection site

Prep and Recovery
Any inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or antibiotics should be avoided up to 72 hours before sclerotherapy. Tylenol may be safe to take in some cases. Talk to your doctor about any of your medications and what can and cannot be done before the procedure.

There is minimal recovery time and patients will be able to resume normal activities directly after surgery. It is recommended to avoid soaking or heating legs, such as taking a hot bath or spending time in a sauna, for 48 hours after treatment. Smaller veins should start to go away after three-to-four weeks. Larger areas may need a few months in order to fully disappear. 

While spider and varicose veins can be painful, they are also treatable. A variety of options are available to eliminate vein conditions with promising results. Discuss your options with an MSA vascular specialist to determine if sclerotherapy is the right option for you.