Understanding Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy with Tennessee Vein Center
What is Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy?
Ultrasound sclerotherapy is a versatile, minimally invasive treatment method for varicose veins. It involves the injection of a sclerosant into problematic veins under the guidance of real-time ultrasound imaging.
The procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting and requires minimal downtime.
The sclerosant causes the treated vein to close, and, with time, the body reabsorbs the abnormal vein. The blood is rerouted from the damaged to normal-functioning veins.
It is important to note that Tennessee Vein Center uses two FDA-approved sclerosants: polidocanol and sodium tetradecyl sulfate. Both sclerosants have long been proven safe and effective, and they do not cause the burning and cramping associated with saline injections, making treatment much more comfortable.
A Look at The Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy Procedure
Before your procedure begins, pre-treatment photographs are done to document before and after sclerotherapy results.
Treatment sessions take approximately 30 minutes, making this a great “lunchtime treatment” option.
At the beginning of your treatment, we’ll have you lie down with your legs slightly elevated. Then, the area will be cleansed and sterilized.
Then, ultrasound gel is applied to the skin, followed by an ultrasound probe to visualize the affected veins. This real-time imaging allows us to precisely locate and assess the veins before administering the injections.
In some instances, a topical anesthetic may be applied for added comfort.
As the affected veins are targeted with ultrasound imaging, Dr. Campbell or one of your experienced Nurse Practitioners will carefully inject the sclerosant solution into the target blood vessels using a fine needle. The solution will cause the vein walls to become tacky and stick together, causing the vein to close over a period following treatment.
Each small injection is made along the course of the vein until the entire length of the unwanted vein is treated.
Some small veins may need just one treatment injection, but thicker and longer veins may need multiple sclerotherapy injections. During your consultation, we can give you an idea of how many injections you will need based on the size and location of your affected veins.
How Should I Prepare for Ultrasound Sclerotherapy?
Before your procedure, you should avoid taking blood-thinning medications, as well as aspirin and ibuprofen, for about one week.
Avoid smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol in the two days leading up to your treatment, and do not tan or use self-tanning lotions in the treatment area.
On the day of your procedure, you should:
- Shower and use antibacterial soap to wash your legs
- Avoid shaving and the use of lotion on your legs
- Wear or bring a pair of loose-fitting shorts (we can provide disposable shorts if needed)
- Bring your compression hose
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
Remember, eating on the day of your ultrasound sclerotherapy procedure is fine. Still, you may want to avoid eating a heavy meal just before treatment, but consider having a light snack if it has been several hours since you last ate.
Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy Aftercare
While recovery is different for everyone, there are certain things you can do to improve your recovery and healing time. Follow the tips below after you’ve completed an ultrasound sclerotherapy session.
Wear Compression Stockings
Immediately after your ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy injections, we will let your legs rest for ten minutes before putting on your compression hose.
You must wear your medical-grade compression hose five to seven days after ultrasound sclerotherapy.
Compression hosiery helps your circulation and reduces swelling, inflammation, and complications while also helping to speed healing.
During this healing process, walking and normal daily activities are strongly encouraged. This light movement aids in circulation to prevent blood clots and encourages healing.
Expect Manageable Bruising and Soreness
Bruising, minor soreness, redness, and tenderness along the course of the treated vein(s) are common. We recommend Arnicare® Gel or Cream to help reduce bruising. If needed, an over-the-counter pain reliever can relieve mild discomfort.
Some patients also develop temporary small skin sores and raised red areas. These should resolve within a few days to weeks.
Ultrasound Sclerotherapy Results
Larger veins, like varicose veins, may take three to four months to close and no longer be visible.
Most patients experience relief from the symptoms of their venous defects, such as swelling, aching, burning, and cramps within a few weeks.
The healing process takes time, and we tell every patient that it is normal for their veins to sometimes look worse before they improve.
The veins closed with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy will be permanently eliminated from the body, providing long-lasting results. However, new varicose veins can develop in the treatment area, which may make subsequent treatments over the years necessary to maintain your results.
The Best Choice for Advanced Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy in Eastern Tennessee
Many individuals find that varicose veins, while physically harmless, can significantly impact their self-esteem and confidence.
If you're dealing with varicose veins or experiencing worsening symptoms of venous insufficiency, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy may be the best solution for you. This innovative treatment reduces the appearance of these veins and effectively addresses associated symptoms.
Our team of experienced vascular specialists is dedicated to helping you minimize the visibility of varicose veins while restoring vein health.
Don't postpone your treatment any longer; take the first step and book a consultation today.