What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for faulty veins that’s been around since the 1930s. It involves injecting a solution, usually salt-based, directly into the affected veins. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessels.
After injection, the veins collapse, stick together, and become scar tissue. Your body naturally gets rid of them over time.
Am I a candidate for sclerotherapy?
When you come in for a consultation, the provider team at Louisiana Heart & Vascular Institute Vein Care Centers evaluates your veins to determine if they can be effectively treated with sclerotherapy.
You may need a more intensive laser treatment in more severe varicose vein cases. Pregnant women cannot have sclerotherapy. Women who are taking birth control can, however.
Patients who have a history of blood clots will be carefully evaluated to determine if sclerotherapy is appropriate.
What should I expect during a sclerotherapy session?
Sclerotherapy is done in the office, and you go home the same day. Using an extremely fine needle, your provider injects the salt solution directly into targeted, irregular veins.
The procedure is tolerable, but you feel slight discomfort or burning with the treatment of larger veins.
All veins can be treated at one appointment or, if you have numerous veins to address, you might break up your treatment over a few sessions. Sclerotherapy treatment is relatively quick.
How should I prepare for sclerotherapy?
Before your sclerotherapy, avoid medications, like aspirin and ibuprofen (acetaminophen is fine), some supplements, and certain herbs. Keep your legs dry and free of lotion before your appointment.
What should I expect after sclerotherapy?
Some people need to take a day or two off following sclerotherapy, especially if they had numerous veins or large veins treated. You’re given comprehensive aftercare instructions.
It’s normal to have increased itching in the area of the treated veins for a few days. You may notice that the injection sites look slightly swollen or red, too.
Other side effects that may linger for a month or two include:
- Brown lines or spots at vein sites
- Lumpiness and hardness in larger veins
- Neovascularization, or the development of new, tiny blood vessels at the site of treatment
If you have spider or varicose veins and want to learn how you can benefit from sclerotherapy, call Louisiana Heart & Vascular Institute Vein Care Centers today and set up an appointment. You may also use the online tool to schedule.