For most women, there is one thing that will keep them from flaunting their legs– varicose veins. They are embarrassed to wear a pair of shorts because of the swollen or dark blue or purple veins that can be easily seen through the skin. The good news is that you do not have to suffer in silence just because of your varicose veins. Now, you can get rid of those unwanted swelling through sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure designed for getting rid of varicose and spider veins. According to the website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery, sclerotherapy is a well-established non-surgical and safe treatment for varicose veins. It has been a proven procedure for more than 150 years. In sclerotherapy, a specialized salt solution is injected into the varicose vein causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. As time goes by, the vessel transforms into a scar tissue that will eventually disappear.
How It is Done
Before the procedure is done, you will undergo an initial consultation with a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist who will then determine if you are qualified for the procedure. Pregnant women are not qualified to undergo the procedure. Women who are taking birth control pills are eligible for sclerotherapy. If you have a history of blood clot, your qualification will be determined on an individual basis and is dependent on the overall health of the area requiring treatment and the cause of the clot.
In most cases, the salt solution is injected using a very fine needle directly into the vein. You may experience a slight discomfort or cramps for 1 to 2 minutes especially when large veins were injected. The entire procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes. The number of veins that will be injected per session is dependent on the size and position of the veins as well as the overall medical condition of the patient.
The procedure is done in the doctor’s office by either a dermatologist or a surgeon. After the procedure, you will not be allowed to perform any aerobic activity for a few days. Before undergoing sclerotherapy, you should not take certain medications. This is the importance of the initial interview so make sure you inform your doctor about any medication you are taking. No lotion should be applied on your legs before the procedure.
Some medications that the doctor will prohibit includes aspirin, ibuprofen, or anti-inflammatory drugs 48 – 72 hours before sclerotherapy.
After the procedure, you may experience certain side effects. They range from the mild such as itching to the more complex such as blood clotting. Itching may last for one or two days after sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy may also bring raised red areas on the affected region. It also includes bruising around the injected area which can last several days or weeks.
Some side effects may require treatment and among them are:
- Inflammation. This is usually mild and may result to swelling, warmth, and discomfort around the injected area. The doctor may recommend aspirin to ease the inflammation
- Blood Clot. Lumps of clotted blood may form in a treated vein requiring drainage. On rare occasions, the blood clot may makes its way to a deeper vein in your leg which could cause deep vein thrombosis.
- Air Bubbles. Tiny air bubbles may go up in your bloodstream. While they will not always have symptoms, but if they do, it may include visual disturbances, fainting, nausea, and headache.
- Allergic Reaction. There is also a possibility that you may become allergic to the solution used for treatment, which is quite rare.