SCLEROTHERAPY FACT SHEET: What to Expect at Le Beau Visage Medical Spa
What is Sclerotherapy?
- Sclerotherapy is a non-invasive procedure for treating leg varicose and spider veins that involves injecting a sclerosing solution, generally sodium chloride (salt and water) directly into the vein.
- The solution causes irritation and inflammation inside the blood vessel and leads to its closure. With no blood flowing, the vein becomes invisible and is replaced with scar tissue. The vein usually disappears within 6-8 weeks.
What are the benefits of Sclerotherapy?
- Safe, virtually painless, in-office treatment; where as surgical vein stripping often requires hospitalization and weeks of recovery.
- Relief of aching or cramping sensation associated with varicose veins and spider veins.
- Eliminates unsightly veins.
- Does not interfere with normal daily activities.
- Nearly immediate visible results.
Is Sclerotherapy safe?
- There are several different sclerosing solutions available including sodium chloride and aethoxysclerol which are among the safest.
- To reduce, if not eliminate, the risk of any allergic reaction, sodium chloride is the most widely used solution.
- A 23 percent sodium chloride sterile solution is injected directly into the blood vessel using a very fine needle.
How often can a treatment be done?
- Treatments may be done in 8 week intervals.
- It varies from individual to individual but typically 2-4 treatments are required for the best results. In patients with milder cases, 1-2 will be sufficient.
What should I expect following a treatment?
- There is some mild pain which can easily be overcome with Tylenol.
- The injected site may appear bruised and swollen for a few days. The bruising usually disappears in 2-3 weeks.
- Continual wearing of the compression hosiery will relieve the swelling and pain.
What are the known side effects of Sclerotherapy?
- Although there are no known serious side effects with sclerotherapy, temporary side effects may occur:
- Local bruising and swelling may occur at the injection site as well as along the treated vessel. Bruising fades slowly over several weeks; swelling resolves within 24 hours.
- Tenderness may occur at the injection site and along the vessel for approximately 1-2 weeks.
- A hive-like reaction, immediately following the injection, may develop at the site and usually subsides within 30 minutes.
- A small ulcer may develop at the injection site which will crust and heal within 1-2 weeks
- Spider veins often rupture during the treatment causing linear streaks which clear within 6 months.
- For injections around the ankle, cramping may occur. Moving and massaging the toes will alleviate the discomfort.
Are Sclerotherapy injections right for me?
- Typically, patients are women between the age of thirty and sixty, though women as young as eighteen and men have had sclerotherapy treatments.
- Sclerotherapy is not right for everyone. Health factors, medication, and age related issues could sometimes complicate the effects of the procedure.
- Before treatments can begin, a scheduled consultation with Dr. Riehs is necessary to determine if you are a suitable candidate for sclerotherapy.
Who is not a candidate?
- Patients with heart conditions
- Patients with HIV, history of AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, or other diseases that are carried in the blood
- Patients with high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, and other disorders of the circulatory system
- Patients that are diabetic
- Patients who are pregnant or lactating. Pregnant women are advised to postpone sclerotherapy until at least three months after the baby is born; some of the spider veins will fade by themselves after delivery.
- Nursing mothers should postpone sclerotherapy until the baby is weaned because it is not yet known whether the solution used in treatment may be transmitted to the mother’s milk.
Are there reports of failure?
- 50%-80% of injected veins may be eliminated with each session of sclerotherapy.
- Less than 10% of the people who have sclerotherapy do not respond to the injections.
- Although this procedure works for most patients, there are no guarantees for success.
What should I do to prepare to my treatment?
- Discontinue aspirin or Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, and Aleve) or any other anti-inflammatory medication 48 hours before the treatment.
- Tylenol is permitted.
- Avoid certain prescription medications: Tetracycline or Minocin, both antibiotics, may possible cause a staining of the skin if taken 7-10 day before the treatment.
- Be sure to eat before the treatment to avoid becoming lightheaded.
On the day of treatment, avoid using any moisturizers, sunscreens, tanning lotions, or creams on the area being treated.