Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat small varicose veins, called reticular veins, and spider veins. It’s quick, safe, and effective at eliminating the appearance of unsightly veins as well as the occasional aching and itching associated with these veins.
This outpatient procedure involves injecting a sclerosing agent directly into the damaged veins, causing the vein walls to swell, stick together, seal shut and fade from view over time. Most patients notice a significant improvement in appearance and symptoms in a few weeks. But you may be wondering, “Does sclerotherapy hurt?”
Let’s take a closer look.
Sclerotherapy: What to expect during treatment
Sclerotherapy is typically performed without any anesthetic; however, you can request a topical cream or cooling cryotherapy (short bursts of super-cooled air) to numb the skin before the procedure begins. It is important to understand the procedure requires a tiny needle, which may prompt anxiety in some people. While many people feel mild discomfort and bruising near the injection site, most find the procedure reasonably comfortable with only a mild stinging sensation. Common temporary side effects of sclerotherapy include:
- Mild discomfort
- Raised red areas at the injection sites
- Mild stinging sensation
How long does it take to recover from sclerotherapy treatment?
You can return to your regular daily activities as soon as the procedure is complete. However, you should avoid aerobic exercises like running and weightlifting for a few days. The good news is, sclerotherapy is a very minimal procedure and doesn’t require local anesthesia, incisions, or stitches. Also, there is no hospitalization required.
If you do experience mild discomfort, it should fade in just a few days. Mild bruising will heal completely within 1 to 2 weeks. Over-the-counter acetaminophen-based pain relievers like Tylenol may be used if needed. Avoid anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, as they can affect your blood’s clotting process.
You may be advised to wear medical-grade compression socks for the first 24 hours following treatment. After the first day, they should be worn during the day and removed at night while sleeping. The number of days will depend on what the sclerotherapist deems appropriate for the treatment that was provided.
Types of sclerotherapy treatment
Virginia Vein Care offers two types of sclerotherapy: ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy and cosmetic sclerotherapy. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy uses imaging equipment to guide the needle and is performed by a physician. It is generally not a cosmetic procedure and is covered in many insurance plans. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is performed visually by one of our experienced registered nurse sclerotherapist specialists.
Visit one of our conveniently located Virginia Vein Care offices and talk to a skilled vein care specialist to find out which one of our varicose vein treatments is right for you. We’re the only IAC Accredited vein center in the area that’s specifically accredited for vein examinations and treatments.