Sclerotherapy for the Treatment of Spider Veins
Many men and women are self-conscious when it comes to the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins. These can be especially troublesome when they appear on the face or in other visible areas of the body. Spider veins and varicose veins can be treated using sclerotherapy, a procedure performed by vascular surgeons.
Patients who are pregnant may not have the procedure, and patients who have had a blood clot in the past may not be able to have the procedure. Furthermore, veins that may be used in a heart bypass surgery will typically not be treated using sclerotherapy to avoid damaging the vessel.
The procedure is done in an outpatient setting. Using a very fine needle, a salt solution is injected into the vein being treated. The patient feels some minor discomfort and/or cramping as the solution works. The solution causes the vessel to swell and a blood clot to form, which is eventually absorbed by the body. The length of the procedure will depend on the number of vessels treated, but most procedures are around thirty minutes long. Because no systemic drugs are used, patients may drive themselves to and from their appointment. Bruising, raised red bumps, and itching may result but all side effects are short time and will alleviate in a few days to a week. Patients are encouraged to wear support stockings and walk regularly following the procedure.
Complications may develop in rare occasions; talk to your doctor before the procedure to make sure you understand the risks, benefits, and warning signs of serious complications before you proceed.
It is important to discontinue the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Motrin, etc) before your sclerotherapy procedure. Your doctor will evaluate your other medication regimen to determine if it is safe to continue taking the rest of your medications.