Vein Treatment

How To Prepare for Sclerotherapy?

Spider veins and varicose veins can cause discomfort, pain, and self-consciousness about the appearance of your legs. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that can erase those unsightly veins for good. But to ensure the best results from your vein treatment, it’s crucial to adequately prepare. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to plan and optimize your experience before having sclerotherapy performed Or how to prepare for Sclerotherapy.

10 Easy Way To Prepare Yourself For Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is an invasive method performed by phlebologists to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. In this procedure, an irritating chemical solution called a sclerosant is injected directly into damaged veins to scar and close the vein walls, making veins fade. Proper preparation helps ensure safety and optimal treatment success. To get ready, avoid blood thinning medications like aspirin for 5-7 days beforehand as they can increase bleeding and bruising risk.

Additionally, refrain from tanning for 4-6 weeks pre-treatment to enable accurate vein visualization. Inform your doctor of any health conditions or allergies as well. For 24-48 hours after, rest with periodic leg elevation is key. Wear medical compression stockings as recommended and avoid high-impact exercise during early healing. Modify medications only as directed and report concerning signs like severe pain or bleeding promptly.

Overall, following your phlebologist’s individualized pre and post-care guidance for these strategies helps minimize side effects and achieve longer-lasting spider and varicose vein improvements from sclerotherapy.

What is Sclerotherapy and How Does it Work?

Sclerotherapy is a treatment used to eliminate small varicose veins and underlying “spider” veins. It works by injecting a liquid chemical, called a sclerosant, directly inside the affected vein. The solution irritates and scars the vein’s lining, causing it to swell shut and be reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue. Over time, the vein should fade and disappear.

Sclerotherapy is used primarily for small varicose veins under 3 mm wide. Larger varicose veins may require additional treatments like endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). The procedure takes around 15 to 20 minutes for each leg, depending on the number of veins involved, and can treat multiple veins in one session. Many patients see results within 3 to 6 weeks as veins fade. However, the full effects may take a few months as veins continue improving. Some residual spider veins may require “touch-up” injections about 8 weeks later.

How To Prepare For Sclerotherapy

Here are some easy ways to prepare for sclerotherapy:

  1. Avoid blood thinning medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and red wine for 5-7 days beforehand. This helps minimize bruising risk.
  2. Stop tanning either outdoors or indoors for 4-6 weeks before treatment. Tanning can obscure veins and interfere with visualization.
  3. Hydrate well by drinking plenty of water in the few days leading up to the procedure. Proper hydration aids healing.
  4. Inform your doctor of any medications you take, medical conditions, or drug allergies ahead of the procedure.
  5. Refrain from applying creams, oils or lotions on legs on the day of treatment so veins are easily accessible.
  6. Wear loose, comfortable clothing when you go for the procedure. Tight clothes may irritate treated veins.
  7. Arrange for a ride home as you may experience temporary leg weakness making driving difficult.
  8. Have over-the-counter pain medications at home to manage discomfort if needed.
  9. Take a few days off work or clear your schedule for adequate rest afterward.
  10. Set up your recovery area with pillows to keep your legs elevated, entertainment, and snacks on hand so you can properly relax.

Medications to Stop Before Sclerotherapy

To prep for sclerotherapy, you’ll need to stop taking certain medications about one week beforehand. Blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs can contribute to bruising or bleeding at the injection sites. They also may impact the effects of treatment.

Medications to avoid include:

  • Aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
  • Warfarin and newer-generation blood thinners
  • Herbal supplements like vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, etc.

Always check with the doctor performing your sclerotherapy for specific guidance about stopping any medications. Suddenly halting some prescriptions can be unsafe. Your provider may recommend substituting some treatments, like short-term use of acetaminophen instead of NSAIDs. Make a list of all supplements and medications you take to discuss any required adjustments.

Compression Stockings After Sclerotherapy

Compression stockings play a vital role for a few weeks after sclerotherapy. The gentle, graduated pressure helps minimize side effects and improves your results. The compression stockings:

  • Decrease swelling and inflammation
  • Prevent discoloration from trapped blood
  • Speed up healing of treated veins
  • Reduce risks of blood clots
  • Support effective vein closure

You’ll need to wear clinical or medical-grade graduated compression stockings providing 15–20 mm Hg of pressure. Over-the-counter socks don’t offer enough compression for sclerotherapy after care. Options include:

  • Knee-high stockings covering below the knee
  • Thigh-high reaching to the upper thigh
  • Full tights extending from toe to waist

Have your stockings ready before treatment so you can put them on immediately afterwards. Then expect to wear them constantly, only removing for bathing and laundering, for 1-2 weeks depending on your doctor’s recommendations. Consider ordering multiple pairs in case of soiling so you always have a backup.

Tips for Preparing for Your Sclerotherapy Day

Properly prepping for your big day can relieve anxiety and set you up for the most comfortable, effective sclerotherapy session. Here are tips for getting ready:

Before Treatment:

  • Get compression stockings and review use instructions
  • Pick out loose, comfortable pants and shoes to change into
  • Hydrate well and have a light meal so you don’t feel lightheaded
  • Take a mild pain medication like acetaminophen if desired
  • Have toiletries and supplies for changing stockings after

Day Of:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete paperwork
  • Follow any pre-procedure instructions from your doctor
  • Use the restroom beforehand since you’ll need to lay still
  • Bring entertainment like magazines since you’ll wait after
  • Have someone available to drive you home

After Treatment:

  • Get help from a technician putting on compression stockings
  • Expect some cramping as the numbing medication wears off
  • Keep treated legs elevated for the first 1-2 days
  • Take it easy and avoid anything strenuous for 1 week

Follow all post-procedure guidelines closely, like when to resume normal activities and medications. Record the dates you’re expected back for any follow-up injections or checks.

Costs Of Sclerotherapy

Here are the typical costs of sclerotherapy:

  1. Doctor’s fees – These can range from $300 to $1000 per treatment session depending on factors like doctor experience level, geographic location, treatment complexity level, and number of veins injected.
  2. Facility fees – If performed at a hospital or specialized treatment center rather than a clinic, additional facility charges ranging from $300 to $800 may apply per session.
  3. Variations by vein type and extent – Spider veins cost on average $250-$350 per session. Uncomplicated varicose veins cost $400-$500 per session on average, while complex varicose veins involving advanced procedures can be $800 to $1500 per session.
  4. Number of sessions needed – Most patients need 2 to 6 sessions spaced 4-8 weeks apart for optimal results. This means total costs for treatment are commonly in the range of $600 to $3000 considering multiple sessions.
  5. Insurance coverage – Most insurance policies do not cover sclerotherapy as it is considered an elective, cosmetic treatment. But, some exceptions exist like treatment of ulcers or bleeding, relief of pain symptoms, or treatment site limitation.
  6. Additional costs – Other costs may include prescription compression stockings at $40-$100 per pair needed for 4-6 weeks after as well as over-the-counter medications.

Costs can vary significantly based on vein case complexity, sessions required for desired results, and insurance coverage determination. But average out-of-pocket per session expenses range from $300 to $1500.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much pain is there with sclerotherapy?

You shouldn’t feel significant pain during or after sclerotherapy due to the numbing medication injected first. Mild cramping and achiness may start a few hours later as the anesthesia wears off. Taking acetaminophen relieves discomfort. More intense or worsening pain should prompt calling your doctor.

Can I still exercise before/after treatment?

Vigorous exercise isn’t recommended for about 1 week before and after sclerotherapy. The exception is light walking, which encourages healthy circulation. Listen to your body and ease back into your normal fitness routines. Always wear compression stockings when resuming activity.

What side effects might I experience?

Temporary side effects like redness, swelling, bruising, and tenderness around injection sites are common. Hard lumps under the skin may form from trapped blood but usually get reabsorbed. Less commonly, some tingling, numbness or discoloration can occur. Contact your doctor if you have severe or worsening reactions.

How long do I have to wait between treatments?

Most patients can have additional sclerotherapy sessions every 4-6 weeks if more treatments are necessary. That allows veins from earlier sessions to fully heal while preventing “crowding” of affected areas. Your doctor determines the ideal timing between appointments.

End Words

Preparing both physically and mentally before sclerotherapy plays an integral role in ensuring the most successful varicose and spider vein removal. Now that you know key steps like adjusting medications, wearing compression stockings, and tips for the procedure day, you can move forward confidently. A little planning goes a long way toward achieving beautiful, healthy-looking legs for years to come.

Selina

My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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