Do you find yourself suffering with spider veins or small varicose veins? Would you like to avoid the long recovery times and hefty prices of surgery? You may be a good candidate for sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that works to eliminate these problem veins and give you both cosmetic and symptom relief you deserve. If you are interested in a sclerotherapy in Houston, schedule an appointment with our vein specialists at Alate Vein Center today.
The Benefits of Sclerotherapy
- Improved cosmetic appearance
- Relief from burning, itching, aching and swelling associated with vein disease
What Is Sclerotherapy?
As briefly mentioned above, sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that is used to treat spider veins and small, superficial varicose veins. In contrast to cumbersome cosmetic surgery, sclerotherapy involves nothing but an injection of a sclerosant solution. This solution is made of a compound that irritates the inner lining of the vein, eventually causing it to stop flowing and scar down — eventually disappearing. After the vein is closed, the blood will be rerouted to healthy veins. No longer in use, the closed vein will scar over, be reabsorbed into the body and disappear from view. The entire procedure itself generally only lasts between 20-30 minutes. Depending on the patient, the vein itself will be reabsorbed into the body after one treatment or several treatments with noticeable results within six to eight weeks.
How Do I know If I'm a Good Candidate?
Before the procedure is performed, our vein specialists will sit down and discuss your goals and any medical concerns and conditions you may have. They are also more than happy to answer any questions you may have during this initial consultation.
Women Who Are Not Pregnant or Breastfeeding
While the effects of sclerotherapy on pregnant women and their unborn children haven’t been researched thoroughly, voluntary procedures such as sclerotherapy are generally discouraged as to provide the safest environment possible for both mother and child.
No History of Heart Disease or Blood Clots
A sclerotherapy is the induction of a blood clot into an unhealthy vein. If you have already have a proclivity toward developing blood clots within clusters of veins, it is best to be cautious when introducing new ones into your system.
Individuals with limited mobility are not able to heal from a sclerotherapy in the same manner as those who are able to walk about and get blood flowing through their veins.
Between 30-60 Years Old
Most of the patients who come to see us about this procedure lie within this age range, as their bodies are able to take to the sclerotherapy in a healthy manner.
How Should I Prepare For A Sclerotherapy?
While your doctor will go into further depth about how you should individually prepare, there are basic steps that should be taken.
Certain medications should be stopped close to 72 hours before the procedure, including common blood thinners such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or anti-inflammatory drugs. We also ask that patients keep the affected area as clean as possible in order to reduce the risk of infection. This means thorough washing of the area and no lotion or other product placed upon it the day of the treatment.
What Happens During The Procedure?
If sclerotherapy isn’t a surgery, then what is it? Many patients are unsure and nervous about what to expect the day of the procedure, but in many ways, undergoing a sclerotherapy is not much different than receiving a vaccination.
You will begin by laying down on your black with your legs slightly elevated. Your doctor will then clean the injection site with alcohol before slowly injecting the saline solution into the vein with a small needle. While most patients only feel a pinch as the needle is injected, others will experience slightly more intense cramping or stinging. If you are in a great amount of pain, be sure to tell your doctor. The procedure usually lasts between 15-20 minutes and you are free to go home the same day.
What Should I Expect After The Procedure?
After the procedure, it is recommended that you wear a compression stocking for a week or two during waking hours. Doing so will speed up the time it takes for the body to reabsorb the scarred vein back into the system and make it disappear.
While strenuous exercise is not recommended for at least one week after the procedure, walking and light activity is acceptable and even encouraged. Most patients are able to return to work and normal activities immediately following treatment. Just as it is advised to avoid blood-thinning drugs before sclerotherapy, we also recommend that you avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 48 hours after the injections. Be sure to also avoid high amounts of heat for the first 48 hours after the procedure — including baths, hot tubs, compresses, and direct sunlight. Long flights on an airplane can also be potentially detrimental to recovery, as you are seated in a limited space for an extended amount of time. Staying aware of these small precautions will help you be on your way to a healthy recovery in a matter of weeks.
At Alate Health, we offer free vein screenings and same day spider vein treatment all within an hour visit. When you walk out of our doors, you will be on your way to enjoy the great-looking legs that you deserve. Call for a free vein screening today at 713.955.1707.
What Are the Potential Risks?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that has been renovated and reworked for the past eighty years, and as such is among the safest vein treatments used in the medical world. However, there is the potential for several side effects. These include (but are not limited to):
- Raised red areas
- Brown spots or lines
- New tiny blood vessels
- Small skin sores
- Lumpiness at vein site
These symptoms are all generally mild and should disappear within a matter of days or weeks. However, there are more serious symptoms that merit immediate medical attention:
- Blood clot
- Extreme swelling of the leg
- Formation of ulcers
- Air bubbles
- Allergic reaction
Any concerns you may have about side effects and risks will be happily addressed by our vein specialists. If you are at a higher risk for a side effect than the average individual, you will be informed and measures will be taken to ensure your health.