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Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used for spider vein treatment in our Orlando, FL clinic. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that is no longer visible on the skin’s surface. This is a great alternative to spider veins removal since it requires no invasive removal procedures.
Unlike other varicose vein treatments, sclerotherapy is a proven procedure and has been in use since the 1930s.
Who is a Candidate for Sclerotherapy
It is always important to have an initial consultation and evaluation with our physician before having any procedure done. This will include your medical history, medication review, and physical exam. The following are some of the things our physician will evaluate.
- Personal history of blood clots
- Pregnancy (sclerotherapy cannot be done on pregnant women)
- If the vein in question is potentially usable for future bypass surgery
What happens during the procedure
First the physician will use a very fine needle to inject the sclerotherapy solution directly into your problem veins. This may cause some discomfort or cramping for one or two minutes, with larger veins causing more discomfort. The entire procedure will take about 15-20 minutes depending on the number of veins being treated.
The number of veins injected in one session varies and depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as your general medical condition.
What to Do Before and after Sclerotherapy
At your initial evaluation, our doctor will give you specific instructions as to how to prepare for your treatment. This may include temporarily stopping certain medications, including over-the-counter herbs or supplements. We recommend avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin) or other anti-inflammatory drugs for 48-72 hours before sclerotherapy. Tylenol, however, should not affect this procedure.
There is generally no need for antibiotics before the procedure. No lotion should be applied to the legs before the procedure.
What to do after your procedure
It is advised that you walk for 30 minutes every day for 7 days after your treatment. Usually, treatments for small spider veins do not require the use of compression stockings.
Possible Side Effects of Sclerotherapy
You may experience certain side effects after sclerotherapy, such as itching, which can last for one or two days after the procedure. Injection sites may also become raised or red. These should disappear within a few days. Bruising may also occur around the injection side and can last several days or weeks.
Longer term side effects may include brown lines or spots at the vein site. In most cases, these spots disappear within three to six months, but they may also last indefinitely. New, Tiny blood vessels may occur at the site of sclerotherapy treatment. This is called neovascularization. These tiny veins can appear days or weeks after the procedure, but should fade within three to twelve months without further treatment.
How long will my results last?
Sclerotherapy permanently removes spider veins from your legs. However, your body may produce new veins in the future. Other treatments may be required in the future to eliminate these new veins.