What to Expect from Sclerotherapy: Before and After

It’s time to get rid of those pesky spider veins! You’re almost ready to take the plunge and schedule a sclerotherapy appointment at your favorite medical spa. But before you do, you may have a few questions about what to expect during the treatment process.

Below, we discuss the most important things to know before you walk into your sclerotherapy session.

How to Prepare for a Sclerotherapy Session

Sclerotherapy does not require much preparation. In many cases, you can simply show up for your appointment in comfortable clothing. Ideally, you should avoid shaving or using lotion on your legs for at least 24 hours before the procedure, but you do not need to make any other changes to your routine going into the treatment.

Before the sclerotherapy session, your medical provider will perform a physical exam to evaluate the veins you want to diminish. They will check for any underlying blood vessel diseases and evaluate how any recent illnesses or medical conditions could impact your treatment. Depending on which veins you want to target, they may request ultrasound imaging.

Pre-Appointment Tips for Sclerotherapy Patients:

  • Avoid shaving or applying any lotion to your legs the day before the procedure.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment, ideally something that will expose your legs such as shorts.
  • Be sure to discuss your medical history with your sclerotherapy provider, including any allergies, medications you take (including aspirin or ibuprofen), or existing medical conditions.
  • Don’t forget to mention any previous treatments you may have undergone for varicose veins and their results.

The Sclerotherapy Treatment Procedure

During the procedure, you will lie on your back with your legs slightly elevated. Your provider will cleanse the treatment area and then use a fine needle to carefully inject a solution into the appropriate vein. You may experience minor stinging or cramps, although some providers use a solution with a local anesthetic to help with this problem.

After your provider withdraws the needle, they apply compression and massage the area to disperse the solution and keep blood out of the injected vessel. They may tape a compression pad onto the site to maintain compression while they move on to the next vein.

Sclerotherapy sessions usually take less than an hour, although it depends on the number and size of the veins being treated. You can walk around soon after the procedure and should do so to prevent blood clots from forming.

What to Expect After Sclerotherapy Treatment

Most people can return to their normal activities the same day, although you may wish to have someone drive you home from the procedure. Your provider may ask you to avoid sun exposure on the treatment area and to wear compression stockings or bandages for about two weeks following treatment. They may also recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise during this time.

For small varicose veins or spider veins, results usually appear after three to six weeks. For larger veins, it may take several months. You may need multiple treatments to achieve your desired appearance.

Many sclerotherapy providers schedule a follow-up appointment after each procedure to check success and determine whether more sessions are needed to achieve your desired results. Sessions are generally scheduled at least six weeks apart.

After a vein has been successfully treated with sclerotherapy, it usually doesn’t come back. Studies show that roughly 90% of patients consider their sclerotherapy treatment a success. However, new veins can always appear.

Sclerotherapy Before and After Pictures

To get an idea of the kind of results you can achieve with sclerotherapy, check out these photos from real sclerotherapy patients at Beauty Boost Med Spa:

Sclerotherapy FAQs

How long does sclerotherapy last?

Sclerotherapy generally has permanent results on the treated veins. However, new varicose or spider veins may appear in other parts of the body or even near the treated area. If this happens, you can get sclerotherapy done again to return to a spider vein-free appearance.

Should I wait longer to get sclerotherapy?

Once a vein issue of any size is treated, it disappears. There is no advantage in waiting until your spider veins or varicose veins become larger. In fact, treating the issue early on could save you money by allowing you to achieve your results with less solution or fewer sessions.

How many sessions of sclerotherapy is needed?

The number of sclerotherapy sessions you need to achieve your desired appearance depends on the size of your vein issue. For small varicose veins or spider veins, one round of treatment may be enough. For larger veins, you may need multiple treatments.

Can veins get worse after sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy does not worsen existing veins or cause new varicose veins to form. Immediately after your sclerotherapy session, your legs may look worse because the treatment leaves small welts. However, these welts will heal over the next week or so, and your final results will never be worse.

Does sclerotherapy ever fail?

Sclerotherapy with an FDA-approved medication can successfully treat unsightly veins in the majority of cases. However, some patients may have an underlying vein disease that hinders treatment. That’s why it’s so important to scan for issues before receiving sclerotherapy!

Another common reason for unsuccessful treatment is using a less effective medication or a less skilled injector. As of this writing, only two medications are FDA-approved for vein treatment: polidocanol and sodium tetradecyl sulfate. There are other medications on the market, but they are often less effective, and some even destroy red blood cells during the treatment process. Make sure you are getting sclerotherapy from a skilled medical provider who uses an FDA-approved medication.

What should I avoid after sclerotherapy?

After the procedure, it’s a good idea to avoid strenuous exercise for the next two weeks. You should also avoid exposing the treated area to the sun during this time because the post-injection inflammation combined with sun exposure can lead to discolored spots on your skin.

Where can I get sclerotherapy in Orange County?

Beauty Boost Med Spa in Newport Beach provides sclerotherapy from the most qualified nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We treat uncomplicated spider veins with Asclera (polidocanol), an FDA-approved medication, and take every post-Covid safety precaution to ensure your safety. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

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