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How sclerotherapy can help you love your legs again

There are more important things in life than worrying about wearing shorts or showing off your legs due to spider veins. While it’s true these nuisances can make you self-conscious, there is good news; you don’t have to live with spider veins. Let’s delve deeper into all things sclerotherapy so you can love your legs again.

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure commonly used to treat some varicose veins and spider veins. This office-based, quick treatment involves injecting the affected veins with a medication that causes the damaged veins to collapse and ultimately disappear. While it’s primarily a medical intervention aimed at improving vein health, it has the added benefit of improving your legs’ appearance.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding sclerotherapy:

How long is each sclerotherapy session, and does it hurt?

Treatment sessions typically are done in 20-to-30-minutes, and most patients find the procedures very tolerable with no pain.

Do my spider veins disappear immediately?

Unfortunately, not typically. The smaller veins may disappear quickly while they are being injected. However, the medication causes inflammation inside the vein, which typically turns red and looks irritated for a few days. It’s important to understand that sclerotherapy often requires multiple sessions. We caution our patients that not all information on social media is accurate, and it is important to have realistic expectations when starting this process.

Some veins may look worse before they begin to heal and fade, which is why we typically don’t recommend doing sclerotherapy within days of going on a planned beach trip or somewhere you expect to be showing off your legs.

Post treatment, do I have to limit any activities?

Yes and No. It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercises, such as lifting heavy weights or vigorous hiking, and to avoid soaking in a hot tub for at least a week. However, normal day-to-day activities and walking are encouraged. While compression stockings are not required, they will help speed up the recovery time and make it more comfortable.

Can my spider veins return after treatment?

Once a vein is treated and has time to heal, it will fade for good. However, sclerotherapy does not prevent new spider veins from developing. Since 80 percent of the population ultimately develop spider veins, treatments can be ongoing. Fortunately, the results of sclerotherapy are good, and the difference between the before and after is impressive.

How will I feel after sclerotherapy?

Common symptoms after a treatment may involve some mild itching and redness at the injection sites. Most patients find the post-treatment symptoms very minimal.

What should I do if I am bothered by my spider veins?

For the best results, patients should seek an evaluation by a board-certified vein specialist who can evaluate the problematic veins and recommend a personalized course of treatment.

Spider veins don’t have to be an ongoing source of self-consciousness. Take advantage of the treatment options available, and let a vein specialist help you regain the legs of your youth, improve your vein health and love your legs again.

Written by Dr. Keith Thompson

Dr. Keith Thompson is a full-time vein specialist and board-certified vascular surgeon. He is the director of the Vein Institute of South Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Reach him at (601) 336-8368.

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