A key component of any medical procedure is post-operative care, although it does not always receive the attention it deserves. It is always important to keep the whole process in mind. This obviously applies to major procedures; but even ones that are safe and have few complications—like sclerotherapy—still need to be seen through all the way to the end.
Sclerotherapy for Visible Veins
You can learn more about the procedure here, but we can sum it up by saying that it is an effective way to treat your varicose or spider veins. This is performed in our office and entails injecting a problem vein with a solution that shuts it down. The vein then simply becomes scar tissue and fades away.
Immediately Following the Procedure
As with any injection, compression will be applied once the needle is withdrawn, and then the area will be massaged to disperse the solution and keep blood out of the injected vein. If more than one vein needs treatment, we may use a compression pad on the site of the injection, in order to proceed with the next vein.
You will rest on your back following the sclerotherapy for 15 to 20 minutes. We check injection sites to identify any immediate side effects from the procedure. If none are observed, we will have you get up and walk around to prevent the formation of blood clots.
In all likelihood, you will be able to resume your normal activities the same day, but it is still wise to arrange for a ride home following the procedure.
Possible Side Effects
As with any medical treatment, sclerotherapy has potential side effects. These are rather minor, but include:
- Bruising – The procedure can result bruises at the site of the injection, but they disappear within a couple of weeks.
- Aching – More commonly experienced in larger veins that have been treated, aching may occur in the first day or two following your session. You should be able to find adequate relief simply by walking around.
- Matting – This refers to a situation where a network of tiny red veins develop near previous injection sites, often in the thigh. Generally, matting will resolve spontaneously, but you can check with us to find out if further treatment is an option you would like to explore.
- Blood trapping – If you note tender lumps in treated veins, it may be a matter of trapped blood in the vessels. More commonly experienced in large veins, we can drain the blood that forms these lumps in order to resolve any tenderness or pigmentation issues they may cause.
After Your Office Visit
For the next three weeks or so, you need to wear compression bandages or stockings to maintain steady pressure on your treated veins. During this time, you are expected to avoid any strenuous physical activity and exposure to the sun (for your treated areas). You will experience inflammation due to the injections and, when combined with sun exposure, this may cause dark spots on your skin.
As mentioned, strenuous activity should be avoided (mainly for the first two weeks), but walking for at least half an hour per day for the first six weeks will reduce pressure in your superficial veins and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and thrombophlebitis.
We will likely schedule a follow-up appointment for about a month after your procedure in order to evaluate the success of the initial treatment and determine if additional sessions are necessary. In the rare event they are, the next session will often happen four to six weeks afterwards.
Results from Sclerotherapy
Depending on the size of the veins that were treated, you will see definitive results anywhere from three weeks to four months. Small varicose or spider veins are often cleared up in three to six weeks, whereas larger veins can take up to three or four months.
Palm Beach Podiatry is your expert source for treating your unsightly veins. We are experienced, caring professionals who are here for you. Schedule an appointment with any of our three Florida offices by calling Boynton Beach at (561) 734-3100, Loxahatchee at (561) 791-7773, or Fort Pierce at (772) 468-0089.
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