What Is Sclerotherapy?
This is a procedure conducted to treat unwanted spider veins or varicose veins on the legs. This treatment involves injecting a saline solution directly into each targeted vein. The solution then irritates the lining of the blood vessel, allowing it to swell up and the blood within the vessel to clot.
The blood is rerouted through veins that are healthier. The collapsed vessel slowly becomes scar tissue and is reabsorbed into local tissue, which then gradually fades and disappears.
Why Is Sclerotherapy Performed?
Sclerotherapy is conducted for cosmetic purposes, essentially to eliminate the appearance of spider and varicose veins.
Spider veins are small purple, red, or blue blood vessels that become twisted within a person’s body. They are very easily visible through their skin, especially around the legs. Varicose veins are much larger. They also appear twisted and turned and can be very evidently visible under a person’s skin.
Both these conditions have several causes, including heredity, reasons pertaining to the person’s occupation, obesity, hormonal fluctuations, blood clots, and sometimes using birth control pills.
How Is Sclerotherapy Conducted?
In typical cases, when a patient is undergoing sclerotherapy, a saline solution is injected directly into their vein through a small, fine needle. The solution causes the vein to degenerate and the blood is rerouted into healthier veins, allowing the collapsed vein to be absorbed into the surrounding tissue.
The procedure normally requires 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the location of the veins and how many veins need to be injected. When a patient is injected with the saline solution, he or she might experience some discomfort and cramping for a few minutes.
After the procedure, patients can resume their regular activities and even drive back home. They will, however, have to wear support hosiery for two to three days after treatment, as this will help to “compress” the blood vessels that have been treated. They will also need to wear these support garments during the day for two to three weeks after treatment.
Patients are encouraged to walk regularly and not remain seated for too long. Patients are advised against taking hot baths, getting into whirlpools or saunas, or exposing the treated area directly to sunlight for at last 48 hours after the procedure, since heat has the potential to cause complications in the healing tissues. They are also advised against exercising for a few days after they undergo sclerotherapy.
After sclerotherapy, patients may experience mild itching, redness, bruising, and slight discomfort in the treatment area. Normally, these issues will fade, but if they are persistent for months after the procedure, the patient is advised to contact their medical practitioner.
Arranging a Consultation
Patients must ensure that an experienced physician’s assistant or registered nurse performs the procedure, as incorrect injection of the solution can have dire consequences. At Pacific Plastic Surgery group, our experienced and knowledgeable staff are here to make sure that you’re well-informed and that you get the results you want.
To schedule a sclerotherapy consultation at our office, contact us today!