Sclerotherapyin our center is provided by Ani Kalfayan, MD, who has over 10 years experience in cosmetic surgery.
is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose and spider veins.
Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt
solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of
the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood
to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from
Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure and has been in use since the 1930s.Candidates for Sclerotherapy
Prior to sclerotherapy, you will have an initial consultation
with a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist who will decide if
you're a good candidate for the procedure.
You are not eligible if you are pregnant. You can have
sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood
clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual
basis, and will depend on the overall health of the area needing
treatment as well as the reason for the clot.
Veins that are potentially usable for future heart bypass surgery
will generally not be considered for sclerotherapy, unless they are
already deemed unusable.How Sclerotherapy Is Done
In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected
through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you
may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes,
especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes
approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
The number of veins injected in one session varies, and depends
on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical
condition of the patient.
Sclerotherapy requires that you do not do any aerobic
activity for a few days after the procedure.What to Do Before Sclerotherapy
Prior to sclerotherapy, you should avoid certain medications.
Talk to your doctor about all medicines (including over the counter
drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements) you are taking. If you need to
take an antibiotic before sclerotherapy, contact your doctor. No lotion
should be applied to the legs before the procedure.
Some doctors recommend avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen (such as
Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin) or other anti-inflammatory drugs for 48-72
hours before sclerotherapy. Tylenol, however, should not affect this
procedure.Side Effects of Sclerotherapy
You may experience certain side effects after sclerotherapy.
There are milder effects, such as itching, which can last for one or two
days after the procedure. Also, you may experience raised, red areas at
the injection site. These should disappear within a few days. Bruising
may also occur around the injection side and can last several days or
weeks.Other Sclerotherapy Side Effects Include:
- Larger veins that have been injected may become lumpy and hard and may require several months to dissolve and fade.
- Brown lines or spots may appear at the vein site. In most cases, they disappear within three to six months.
- Neovascularization -- the development of new, tiny blood
vessels -- may occur at the site of sclerotherapy treatment. These tiny
veins can appear days or weeks after the procedure, but should fade
within three to twelve months without further treatment.