How does Sclerotherapy work?
As mentioned before, sclerotherapy is a technique that involves injecting medication directly into a varicose vein. This medication irritates the lining of the vein wall, causing the walls to shrink and stick together. This procedure reroutes the blood flow to normal functioning veins nearby. The closed down veins are gradually broken down and dissolved by your body following the sclerotherapy procedure. This treatment has been used for decades with great success to treat varicose veins.
What to expect
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy involves a pre-treatment ultrasound, called a mapping, to determine the location and extent of your varicose veins. Local anesthesia is used to numb the skin surface and help make the procedure more comfortable. A needle is used to access the vein, a technique similar to starting an IV or donating blood. During this time the ultrasound machine provides us a visual of the veins, and is our “eyes” for the procedure. Once placement of the needle into the vein is confirmed, the sclerosant is injected into the veins and its progression is watched on ultrasound to ensure complete treatment. Since the veins may not all connect to each other, multiple injection sites during a single treatment are often needed in order to completely treat veins.
After treatment care
Immediately after treatment we have our patients either walk or lay with their legs elevated for 10 minutes. Compression socks need to be applied before leaving the office. For the next week we expect you to:
- Stay active and walk at least 20 minutes, twice daily
- Wear your compression socks
- Avoid hot tubs, saunas, or hot baths – warm showers are ok
- Avoid unusual or extremely strenuous activities that are outside your norm