Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that is used to treat vascular malformations and other conditions in the body involving blood vessels. It involves injecting a medicine into the affected vein causing it to shrink. Once the vein is destroyed, it will be absorbed and eliminated by the body. It is an effective treatment for varicose veins and spider veins.
A Time-Tested Treatment
Sclerotherapy has been used for more than 150 years to treat spider veins and varicose veins. Over the years, technology has advanced the techniques and ultrasound is used to guide the provider and determine the extent of the venous insufficiency. In the early years, the chemicals used for the treatment caused side effects, but today, the chemical is usually saline solution with very low risk of side effects. In 1980, duplex ultrasound made it easier for the provider to see the extent of the diseased vein and apply the treatment accordingly.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
When you meet our vein specialist, you may be asked about your medical history. This includes any recent illnesses, allergies, history of blood clots, heart conditions, and any previous treatments you may have had for varicose or spider veins. You will need to tell the doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you take including herbal remedies and dietary supplements.
You may desire the treatment for cosmetic reasons because your varicose veins are embarrassing when you wear a bathing suit or summer clothing. Even if your veins are not prominent yet and don’t show beneath the skin, you may have symptoms such as aching and swelling around the ankles, night cramps, or skin discoloration.
After the Procedure
Sclerotherapy is done in our offices and you can go home right after the treatment is completed. You may be asked to walk around for a few minutes to help the blood flow through the many healthy veins. It may be necessary for you to wear compression stockings for a week or two after the treatment to maintain pressure on the closed vein. Our specialist will give guidelines to follow at home.
Spider veins and small varicose veins may begin to diminish in appearance after three to six weeks. For larger varicose veins it may take up to four months before results are seen. In some cases, more than one treatment is necessary to remove the diseased completely.
Sclerotherapy is considered one of the safest and most effective ways to deal with venous problems. You may no longer need to live with unsightly and uncomfortable varicose and spider veins when you visit our specialist at Westover Hills Dermatology in San Antonio. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!