Let Your Legs Show
Unsightly leg veins trouble many of us. Women are 3 times as likely to have issues with spider veins and varicose veins then men. Heredity, pregnancies, prolonged sitting or standing, being overweight and age all play a part in the development of these vein irregularities.
Sclerotherapy, performed since the 1930’s, is the treatment of leg veins using a solution which is injected in to the vessel with a fine needle. Polidocanol is a common agent used as is hypertonic saline. Sclerosing agents damage the inside of the vessel and cause the blood to clot. The vessels swell and stick together and eventually are discarded by the body.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not have sclerotherapy. Other conditions that would make sclerotherapy an unviable option would include a history of a blood clotting disorder, poorly controlled diabetes or a prior allergic reaction to Polidocanol.
Possible side effects include bruising and swelling at injection sites, skin discoloration, pain, allergic reaction, ulcers from sclerosant damaging surrounding skin, blood clots and phlebitis.
If you want to be treated you can expect your health care professional to consult with you and determine if you are a good candidate. The sessions typically last 20-40 minutes and involve multiple injections with a fine needle. You will be required to wear support hose for 4-7 days following your treatment. Heavy exercise is discouraged following a treatment for 1-2 weeks but you will be encouraged to walk the day of treatment. You will also be asked to avoid hot showers and baths and long car or plane rides following your treatment.
Sometimes multiple sessions of sclero are required to obtain optimal results. The sessions are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart.