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I had a foam sclerotherapy injection on a varicose vein two weeks ago. The vein is still very discolored, and there are still lumps. Does that mean it did not work?
It means it did work but there are areas of trapped blood. Although not harmful, they can stain the skin and can be easily removed. You should go back to be rechecked by your treating physician.
Discoloration over segments of varicose and spider veins is normal after sclerotherapy and gradually disappears over a few months. Large tender lumps are also common and should be evacuated, while smaller non-tender ones do not require intervention and will shrink over time.
Discoloration does not mean the treatment didn't work, it means it is working. The discoloration should resolve in 3-6 months on average.
The discoloration is normal and may persist for a few more months. Sometimes blood can get trapped inside the vein for a short time and cause discoloration. Some of the discoloration is a reaction from the drug breaking down the vein.
No, it does not mean that it did not work. It is common for the veins to become discolored after sclerotherapy for two reasons: 1) When the vein "dies" it begins to change color while it is being absorbed by the body and, 2) there is some old blood "trapped" inside the dying vein, with the trapped blood cells also causing discoloring of the veins. The veins and discoloration will fade over time as the body absorbs the veins and blood.
The lump is likely from remaining blood in the varicose vein that needs to be drained.
When injecting a larger vein (varicose vein), there can be discoloration of the overlying skin from the blood trapped in that vein (hemosiderin). This can fade with time varying from weeks to many months.
In some cases, it may not fade completely. If there are lumps in the vein, I would schedule a time with your treating physician to release some of this trapped blood. This is done simply by inserting a needle into the vein and pressing gently to extract the blood. It will decrease the amount of discoloration you may develop. Massaging gently with ARNICA cream may help, and sometimes a heating pad on a low setting but applied frequently can help speed up the healing. It is for these reasons that we typically do not inject varicose veins as they are too large. As a surgeon, I would remove these in a cosmetic fashion (microphlebectomy), leaving minimal or no marks on the skin when healed. We reserve foam injections for smaller "feeder" reticular veins and for deeper communicating veins.
Based on your description, it sounds like you have something we call trapped blood. As a vein closes down, it can trap blood within the scar tissue. The result is a discolored, lumpy vein. Often tender and occasionally reddish. Draining the blood out of these veins will make the lumps disappear and allow the the discoloration to gradually go away.
It actually probably means the opposite, that the sclerotherapy did work. It will take time for the color to resolve completely, depending on the veins could be months.
The discolored area is called hyper-pigmentation. It is normal for some people. It occurs more with dark skin tones, however, anyone can have it. It usually fades with time. A bleaching cream can also be used if the
discoloration does not go away.
On the contrary, it appears to have worked well, as intended. Be patient and wait for your body to break down the residual pigment. If you have painful bumps, these can be drained in a few weeks and hasten the cosmetic results.
Actually, just the opposite. The darkened vein is probably clotted from the sclerosing solution and the lumps are also clotted veins. These should dissolve over 3 to 6 weeks. Warm compresses may help to alleviate any discomfort.
It does not mean it didn't work. These are common early side effects and have no bearing on whether the treatment worked or not. Lumps resolve within a few weeks, while brown pigment can last months but nearly always fades on its own. Give it time.
"Vein discoloration" or hyperpigmentation, is common after all types of sclerotherapy, including foam. The "lumps" are actually areas of trapped blood in the treated vein, and may require aspiration or removal depending on the amount. The discoloration should fade over time, but can take several months. Permanent discoloration from sclerotherapy can occur, but is much less likely. Neither of these two signs indicate failed treatment.