You’ve scheduled the appointment to rid yourself of those unsightly varicose veins. While you’re glad to get rid of those bulging, possibly painful, veins, it’s important to know just how sclerotherapy works and what to expect.
Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure, done in a doctor’s office rather than a hospital. There’s no anesthesia required. The entire process doesn’t take long, and most patients are done within a half hour. The doctor injects a solution-known as a sclerosant- via a thin needle directly into the varicose vein. This solution causes scarring, which results in blood heading elsewhere and the vein’s collapse.
Don’t shave your legs or put lotion on them for at least 24 hours prior to the sclerotherapy. While you can return to work the following day, it’s probably a good idea to arrange for a ride home from the doctor’s office rather than drive yourself.
On some occasions, more than one sclerotherapy session is necessary in order for the vein to collapse.
After sclerotherapy treatment, you’ll need to wear compression stockings. These stockings promote blood flow and reduce any swelling. The length of time you’ll need to wear them depends on your individual situation. It may consist of days or weeks. Follow your doctor’s orders for best results. Don’t confuse “compression” stockings with “unattractive.” Compression stockings are available in lots of colors and patterns, and look like normal stockings to the casual observer. Modern compression stockings have come a long way from grandma’s day.
Expect bruising post-treatment, ranging from mild to major. Call your doctor if the bruising gets worse after a week or so, or if you experience significant pain and swelling at the injection site.
Your doctor will likely advise you to avoid any medications or supplements causing blood thinners. These include common over-the-counter products such as aspirin or vitamin E.
Technically, there’s no downtime after sclerotherapy, but in reality you should take it a bit easy for a while. That means taking a brief break from strenuous exercise or rigorous activity. Walking is an exception – it is excellent therapy for post-sclerotherapy patients. Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal, vigorous exercise.
Within a month of your treatment, all signs of the varicose vein should disappear. Then you can start showing off your legs again instead of hiding them.
If you or someone you know would like more information about veins and how to treat them, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!
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