Sclerotherapy is a spider vein and average-sized varicose vein treatment that injects a chemical into the troublesome veins. It induces coagulation and inflammation, ultimately causing the vein to collapse so blood supply can reroute to healthier veins. One variation of sclerotherapy, foam sclerotherapy, suspends the chemical in foam to provide greater adhesion to the vein walls.
Depending on the number of veins to be treated, a sclerotherapy session usually takes less than 30 minutes. After the procedure, the treatment site is wrapped in a bandage which applies pressure to control any post-operational bleeding and promote healing. Once treated with sclerotherapy, varicose veins do not come back.
Sclerotherapy is done on an outpatient basis and is only mildly painful. Other than the sting of the injection, some patients report some light cramping during the injection of the solution, but this quickly passes. Although all procedures have some risks, sclerotherapy has very few. Light bruising sometimes occurs around the affected area, and some patients have reported that freckling developed temporarily in the treatment area, but these both usually disappear within weeks.
With sclerotherapy, some patients may require several scheduled injection sessions to achieve optimal results. Bear in mind that the appointments are scheduled months apart from one another. After finishing the treatment, the pain and unsightly appearance of the damaged veins are greatly improved. Patients report significantly smoother skin and little discoloration. Because these results are achieved without hospitalization or general anesthesia, sclerotherapy is a better choice than surgery for many patients. Patients also find recovery time is much shorter with sclerotherapy, and they are usually able to return to work within days.
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