Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose and spider veins. This treatment involves the injection of a solution (usually a salt solution) directly into the vein. This solution works by irritating the lining of the blood vessel, which in turn causes its structure to collapse upon itself, which then causes the blood to clot. Over time, the blood vessel will turn into scar tissue that becomes essentially invisible to the human eye. Sclerotherapy is a very popular alternative to laser vein removal and one of the more common cosmetic dermatology treatments undergone in the United States.
Sclerotherapy treatment is a procedure that has been around since the 1930’s and has proven to be highly effective in varicose and spider vein removal. Clinical studies show that up to 80% of injected veins may be eliminated by this procedure, and only less than 10% of patients do not respond to the injections at all. Small, spider veins usually respond within 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins may take up to 4 months to do so. However, veins that respond to the procedure will not reappear, which makes it one of the better forms of treatment for varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy cost, as with most cosmetic dermatology procedures, will vary both by a patient’s specific geographic location as well as the size of the veins and area to be treated. As such, it is best to contact Utah Valley Dermatology or your local dermatologist directly.
CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE SCLEROTHERAPY TREATMENT
Before undergoing Sclerotherapy, patients should consult with their dermatologist and/or vascular medicine specialist about their eligibility for this procedure. Patients with a history of blood clots will require a specialist to analyze their case.
It is often recommended to avoid certain anti-inflammatory drugs as well as other kinds of over-the-counter medicine, though this is up to your physician’s discretion.
Veins that have the potential to be used in any possible future heart bypass procedures will not be considered for Sclerotherapy, unless they have already been judged unusable for such purposes by a qualified specialist.
Pregnant women are not eligible for Sclerotherapy.
SCLEROTHERAPY BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGE GALLERY
CARE AFTER SCLEROTHERAPY
It is important that patients do not engage in any strenuous physical or aerobic activity for a few days after undergoing Sclerotherapy, yet walking is encouraged to promote a faster healing process.
Use of compression hoses or garments and bandaging is recommended to compress the treated area.
Anti-inflammatory drugs should also be avoided up to 48 hours after treatment, as well as hot baths, hot compresses, whirlpools or saunas, and direct exposure to sunlight on the treated areas.
Side effects for Sclerotherapy are generally mild and few. They may include itching, bumps, and minor bruising, all disappearing within a few short days. In the case of larger veins, these may in some cases become hardened and lumpy, often taking from several weeks to a few months to completely disappear.
Brown lines or spots around the area of the treated vein may also develop, usually disappearing within 3 to 6 months, though they may last indefinitely in some rare cases. Neovascularization, which is the development of new, smaller blood vessels, may also occur. These tiny veins can show up days after treatment and will normally fade within 3 to 12 months.
As with any injection procedure, dangerous though rare side effects that would require immediate doctor attention can develop. Such side effects include inflammation within 5 or 6 inches from the groin (usually indicating possible infection), the sudden onset of a swollen leg, and the formation of small ulcers in the treated area.
COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY IN LEHI, UTAH
As always, Dr. David Myers of Utah Valley Dermatology is happy to answer any questions you have about Sclerotherapy or any other cosmetic dermatology procedures, so call and schedule an appointment today. Utah Valley Dermatology, the best skin care by a caring staff!