The veins are in charge of carrying oxygenated blood from peripheral tissues to the heart. The pressure in the veins is low, so the pumps of the heart move the blood forward. In order to prevent backflow, most veins are equipped with valves that will only allow the blood to flow towards the heart. When the valves become damaged, the veins may become enlarged and begin to bulge.
This results in varicose veins forming. Varicose veins are often just a cosmetic issue, but at times they can lead to a chronic condition called venous insufficiency. When this occurs it can be quite painful. There are natural remedies that can help cure these types of veins. However, if the veins become too swollen, surgery may become necessary. Sclerotherapy is another option for removing varicose veins. If you suffer from varicose veins, here are ten details that you need to know about sclerotherapy.
1. Is Sclerotherapy Safe?
The first thing that you need to know about sclerotherapy is what exactly the procedure consists of. It is not surgery, but rather a procedure that involves a chemical being injected into a vein in order to get rid of it. The sclerosant that is used will damage the lining of the blood vessel. This results in a clot that will block the blood from going through the vein. The vein will collapse and eventually be absorbed into the body.
This results in the flow of blood being directed through other veins that are healthier. Sclerotherapy is non-invasive and has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat varicose veins. It has been being used as a cosmetic treatment for varicose veins since the 1930s. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks that should be considered before partaking in this treatment.
2. Does Sclerotherapy Hurt?
When you are planning to have any type of medical procedure completed it is important to consider how safe it is. You may also be wondering whether or not the procedure is going to hurt. In the case of sclerotherapy, it is not a procedure that is completely painless.
There are some types of chemicals that are going to cause more pain than others. There are different types of chemicals that can be used during this procedure and the type used is based on the veins that are to be removed. In addition, if the sclerosant that is used is accidentally deposited outside of the vein that it is being used for, it can cause more pain to occur.
Overall, a person who is going in for sclerotherapy can expect to experience a certain amount of pain during and after the procedure. However, most of the time the pain will be tolerable and the desired results will be provided.
3. Is Sclerotherapy Effective?
One of the questions that you want to know before having any type of medical procedure is whether or not it is going to be effective. Undergoing any type of medical treatment comes with some risks and this includes sclerotherapy.
However, sclerotherapy has been being used as a treatment for varicose veins since the 1930s. It is still used today because it is considered to be one of the most effective and safest medical treatments for getting rid of varicose veins.
The procedure will collapse or obliterate the veins. The other options for getting rid of varicose veins include having the vein surgically removed. This is a more invasive procedure. Another option is endovenous laser destruction. This procedure uses laser light to get rid of the offending veins. Sclerotherapy is the least invasive of all options and is often an effective choice for most.
4. Who is Sclerotherapy For?
A person who has varicose veins may find that sclerotherapy is a good choice to help get rid of them. However, this procedure should not be taken lightly and other natural remedies should be tried before resorting to this procedure. Sclerotherapy is best for those people who suffer from venous insufficiency and have difficulty controlling it using compression stockings and other home remedies.
Those who are obese may also benefit from this procedure as well. Healthy individuals who have superficial unsightly veins that are of small caliber, of four mm or less may also be candidates for sclerotherapy.
In order to determine whether or not a person would benefit from sclerotherapy, the area where the defective vein is located will first be identified as well as the drainage pattern of it. This will fully determine whether or not a person is a candidate for the procedure.
5. How do you Prepare for Sclerotherapy
If it is determined that you are a good candidate for this procedure, the preparation for it will begin. A person who is going to undergo sclerotherapy will need to have a special ultrasound done in order to determine the exact area of the venous disease before the treatment begins.
If there is only a small area of spider veins, this may not be done. The ultrasound will also determine what the best course of action will be in regards to dealing with your spider veins.
When going in for the ultrasound a patient will need to be prepared to lay with their legs elevated in order to get the best pictures of the area where the venous disease is. Once this is determined, the procedure can be scheduled. Before the procedure is completed your doctor will provide you with a list of things to do before your scheduled appointment.
6. How is the Injection Given?
There are currently two sclerosants available that have been approved by the FDA. They are sodium tetradecyl sulfate, which is a detergent and polidocanol which is Asclera. If the veins that are being treated are small, hypertonic saline may be used.
The injection may be given in either liquid or foam form. This is determined by the size of the vein or veins that are going to be treated. If the vein is rather large, foam is often used because it can cover a larger area than the liquid. A needle of an appropriate size will be inserted into the blood vessel that is going to be treated.
The chemical is injected into the vein through the use of this needle. Depending on the location of the veins a special ultrasound guide may be used in order to make sure that the chemicals go into the vein that they are supposed to.
7. Recovery Time for Sclerotherapy
If you are going to go through with sclerotherapy it is important to know what the recovery time will be after the procedure is completed. When you are scheduled for sclerotherapy it will be completed as an outpatient procedure. The patient will leave the office on the same day that they receive treatment.
The actual procedure will only take about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete. Once the procedure is done a patient may be required to stay in a recovery room for a bit in order to make sure that everything is working the way that it should. The recovery time will vary based on the individual, but it is typically very minimal.
Some people may experience some pain in their legs after the procedure. This is to be expected as the veins have been shut down. However, most people feel fine after sclerotherapy and the symptoms and side effects of the procedure are minimal.
8. What type of Aftercare is Needed after Sclerotherapy?
After the sclerotherapy procedure is completed a patient will need to wear compression socks for a minimum of one week and up to three weeks afterward. How long the compression socks have to be worn will be based on several factors including how many veins were injected and how large they were.
A follow-up visit will be scheduled for around two weeks after the procedure was completed. During this visit, a person can expect to have the evacuation of blood clots enabled in the larger veins. This will help to improve the appearance and the overall prognosis.
After going through sclerotherapy it is important to make sure that you follow all of your doctor’s orders. This may include elevating your legs regularly and staying off of your feet for long periods of time. If you are experiencing any type of pain after the procedure, it is important to make sure that you contact your doctor.
9. Benefits of Sclerotherapy
For people who suffer from venous insufficiency, sclerotherapy can be quite beneficial as it can improve the flow of blood through the veins. It can also help to limit chronic swelling. Often times, one of the biggest complaints about varicose veins is the way that they make a person’s outward appearance look. These veins can be quite unsightly.
Choosing to go through sclerotherapy can help to improve the appearance of these unsightly veins. Since the procedure is not very invasive and can be completed as an outpatient service, it is one of the better options for dealing with varicose veins.
In addition, the recovery time is fairly short and most people will see a vast improvement in the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins after they have the sclerotherapy procedure completed. Overall, this is one of the better choices for dealing with varicose veins as it is a tried and true procedure for this issue.
10. Possible Side Effects and Risks of Sclerotherapy
As with any medical procedure, there are some possible side effects and risks associated with sclerotherapy. It is important to know this before deciding whether or not this procedure is right for you. Some of the side effects and risks that are associated with sclerotherapy include capillary dilation, pain at the injection site, swelling, hyperpigmentation, tape compression folliculitis, tape compression blisters, localized hives, vasovagal reflex, skin death, localized hair growth, allergic reactions, arterial injection, superficial thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, possible damage to the nerves, and migraine headaches.
Some people may experience pain throughout their legs or in other areas of their body as well. If you have had the procedure completed and begin to experience any of these side effects or others, it is important to contact your doctor right away. While most of the side effects are temporary and not dangerous, it is still important to contact a medical professional if you experience any of them.