Sclerotherapy Aftercare: What You Need to Know

Sclerotherapy Aftercare: What You Need to Know

If you’ve chosen sclerotherapy for spider or varicose veins, here’s what you can expect after the procedure. 

If you are one of the millions of Americans who are dealing with spider or varicose veins in your legs, you may be exploring what options you have for treating them.  

Caused by factors such as pregnancy, occupations that involve long periods of standing, age, genetics, sun damage, and trauma, spider veins are a collection of dilated blood vessels just under the skin that appear blue or purple in color, and may resemble a bruise. Varicose veins are more severe and are twisted, swollen veins that may protrude from the skin. 

Although spider and varicose veins are not usually dangerous, they can be uncomfortable or painful, and some people may want to decrease their appearance for cosmetic reasons. A vein specialist can help you talk through your options for treating spider and varicose veins, which may include laser therapy or a sclerotherapy procedure. If sclerotherapy is a good treatment option for you, here’s what you can expect for your aftercare. 

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is considered one of the best options for treating spider and varicose veins. As the American Society for Dermatology Surgery explains, sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure for treating spider and varicose veins that uses a special solution injected directly into the affected vein to cause it to collapse. 

Because the solution irritates the vein, it scars and collapses, which forces the blood to find a new path through healthier veins. The collapsed veins are then broken down and absorbed into surrounding tissue and will no longer be used or visible through your skin. At Palm Vein Center, vein specialists also offer the use of Asclera, which is a special solution that further improves the effectiveness of sclerotherapy for spider veins and smaller varicose veins to ensure the blood vessels are replaced with healthy tissue. 

The goal of sclerotherapy is to eliminate the varicose and spider veins and reduce other symptoms that the veins can cause, such as burning, swelling, leg cramps, and achiness. 

What to Expect After Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a quick procedure that is performed right in your doctor’s office and takes around 45 minutes to complete. It does not require anesthesia, so you can choose to drive yourself home following the procedure if you would like, although it is recommended that you have someone help you get home if possible.  

You may have some mild discomfort after the procedure, but once you get home, you can resume your normal activities and walking is encouraged. After your procedure, follow these tips for your aftercare to maximize your results and ensure proper healing:

  • Follow any instructions your vein specialist gives you about elevating your legs (this can vary based on how severe your veins were). 

  • Use compression stockings if your vein care has recommended them (store-bought support hose are often not the same, so be sure to follow your specialist’s instructions if heavy compression stockings are needed for your veins).

  • Do not take anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin, Ibuprofen, aspirin or Advil for 48 hours after the procedure, as they can interfere with the blood clotting and healing.

  • If you do have pain, ask your vein specialist if Tylenol can be taken.

  • Do not use hot tubs or sit in a hot bath for two days after the procedure. Keep showers lukewarm. 

  • Do not place anything hot on the treated areas, i.e. hot compresses or heating pads. 

  • Avoid direct sunlight and do not use tanning beds for two days after the procedure. 

  • Talk to your doctor if you have any travel plans, such as a long flight. 

You may experience some of the following symptoms after a sclerotherapy, all of which are normal and will go away in a few days to weeks:

  • Slight itchiness at the injected sites

  • Red, raised spots at the injection sites

  • The injected veins may appear “lumpy” or hardened for up to several months

  • Discoloration at the injection sites, which usually disappear by 6 months after the procedure

  • Bruising 

  • A collection of small, temporary blood vessels at the treated area 

While many people will notice a difference in their veins within two weeks, full results from a sclerotherapy procedure can take up to two months.

When to Call Your Doctor After Sclerotherapy

Most of the side effects of sclerotherapy are mild, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact your vein specialist right away:

  • Increased and sudden swelling

  • Swelling near the groin area

  • New sores at the injection sites

  • Red streaks, especially near the groin area

  • Sudden and/or increasing itchiness 

At Palm Vein Center, our goal is to get you back to living your life as soon as possible and ensure that your recovery is smooth and comfortable. 

If you have any questions about your aftercare following your sclerotherapy procedure, you are encouraged to contact one of our vein specialists at any time.

Talk to our team to learn more about the best conservative and interventional treatment options for your vein condition.

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

For more information on vein diseases and the treatments provided by the specialists at Palm Vein Center or to make an appointment, call 623-201-4777. We look forward to meeting you!