Am I a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Those who benefit the most from spider vein removal have these general characteristics:
- You have spider veins or smaller varicose veins in your legs.
- You are approximately between the ages of 30 and 60, although older and younger people may also be good candidates.
- You have no history of blood clotting issues.
- You are not pregnant or have been pregnant or given birth in the past three months. You are not currently nursing.
- You are in good health.
- You are a non-smoker.
What is the procedure like?
The first step is a review of your medical history, including recent illnesses, ongoing medical conditions, and a list of medications you may be taking. You may be asked to discontinue some medications or supplements until after your treatment.
For particular veins, you may be required to have an ultrasound so we can accurately map the location and length of the affected veins.
Your sclerotherapy procedure will be done at our Comprehensive Laser offices, and depending on how many veins are treated at one time, should take less than an hour.
- No anesthesia is required. You will be lying down comfortably on a treatment table with your legs elevated, and the injection site cleaned.
- A very fine needle is used to inject an advanced medication called Asclera® into the veins you want to be removed. Asclera causes the vein to collapse, and with time, be absorbed by your body and disappearing.
- You might experience minor stinging sensation during the injections, but most patients report no pain.
- When the needle is withdrawn, your vein is massaged, and a compression pad applied.
Recovery from sclerotherapy
Once all the targeted veins have been treated, you will be required to wear a compression stocking or wrap for about two weeks. Wearing it is an important step in the success of your treatment, helping to ensure the veins are reabsorbed by the body.
After the procedure, you may experience a few side effects. Larger veins treated may turn hard or lumpy while they are in the process of becoming absorbed by your body. This side effect may persist for several months before disappearing. You might also experience raised areas near the injection sites, which disappears in a few days. Bruising also may occur, fading in a day or two.
You must avoid strenuous activity for the next two weeks, but it is important to walk and move your legs to prevent the blood clot formation. Avoid sitting for long periods during the healing period.
You should be able to return to your usual routine immediately following the procedure, but for the next two weeks, it is best to avoid direct sun exposure to the treated veins. Sun exposure may create dark pigmentation at the injection site.
How soon will I see results?
For small spider veins, sclerotherapy produces results that take between three to six weeks before they disappear. Larger veins may take up to four months to fade away. You may need multiple treatments to for some veins, with additional treatments will be spaced out by six weeks. You should be aware that when a vein disappears, it is unlikely that it will return, but new veins could take their place, requiring retreatment. A healthy diet and lifestyle will go a long way to maintaining your results.
About a month after your procedure, you will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment to ensure the spider veins have disappeared as expected. Imagine being free of visible veins and able to reveal your legs without embarrassment! That’s the beauty of this treatment.
FNP-BC, MSN, BSN
Nina graduated with two Bachelor of Science Degrees from The University of Maryland College Park and Howard University. She then earned her Master of Science in Nursing Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner.