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Sclerotherapy: What is this Procedure For & What Can I Expect?

Doctor holding stethoscope

Sclerotherapy is a treatment for problems with blood vessels, like your veins, that are part of your circulatory system. Issues with your circulation can take many forms, ranging from cosmetic issues like spider veins to more serious health concerns like venous insufficiency, painful leg cramps, restless leg syndrome and more.

Why Has My Doctor Recommended Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is recommended when one or more of your veins isn’t working properly. Sclerotherapy is used to close the non-performing vein. Your body re-routes your circulation system through healthier, stronger veins. As a result, you experience relief from your concern – spider veins disappear, mysterious painful leg cramps stop happening, and restless leg syndrome will no longer keep you up all night.

Is Sclerotherapy Safe?

Because sclerotherapy is minimally invasive and does not require the use of general anesthesia, it is generally regarded as a safe procedure. Obviously, for best results, you want to work with a trusted and experienced surgeon who has performed this procedure hundreds of times successfully.

What Can I Expect to Experience?

Sclerotherapy involves an ultrasound guided injection into the vein that’s causing your leg pain. This procedure happens in our office – you never have to step foot in the hospital! Treatment takes between 30-45 minutes, and most patients go right back to their daily routine without any interruption.

During your treatment, you’ll be seated in a comfortable position. The injection site will be cleaned, and then Dr. Arad administers treatment with the use of lidocaine, a powerful numbing agent, to keep you comfortable. Once the injection has been completed, Dr. Arad massages the targeted areas to ensure the treatment solution has been appropriately distributed. Most patients report little to no pain, although some people experience minimal discomfort at the injection site.

While some people only require a single sclerotherapy treatment session, individuals who have more pronounced vein issues may need a few more. Each session eliminates between 50-80% of treated veins. This means that spider veins and smaller varicose veins may be gone completely within three to six weeks, while larger varicose veins can take up to four months. When sclerotherapy is used to address painful leg cramps or Restless Leg Syndrome, relief occurs rapidly and lasts for the remainder of the patient’s life.

What is Recovery from Sclerotherapy Like?

Because sclerotherapy is minimally invasive and doesn’t require general anesthesia, the recovery process is generally simple and straightforward for most patients. You’ll need to wear compression socks for 3 weeks, in order to speed your healing, and it’s important to stay out of the direct sunlight during this time. The most common side effects include injection site bruising, red blood vessels or rash like spots, other lines or spots, and small sores.

 

Is Sclerotherapy Right for Me?

The decision to have sclerotherapy should be made in conjunction with your doctor. If you have questions, or you’re trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing your chronic leg pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Arad.

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