Vascular surgeons at University of Miami Health use sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins and spider veins. In sclerotherapy, your surgeon injects a solution directly into your veins. This solution causes the vein to scar, which forces the blood to flow through healthier veins. This change in blood flow pattern can cause varicose or spider veins to fade, usually over the course of weeks or months following sclerotherapy.
If you have varicose or spider veins that have not responded to other treatment options, your vascular specialist may recommend you undergo sclerotherapy to treat the condition and help alleviate troublesome symptoms.
What to Expect
You may need to stop taking certain medications – such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or blood thinners – for a period of time prior to undergoing this procedure. The day before and the day of your procedure, you shouldn’t shave or apply lotion to your legs. You shouldn’t shave or apply lotion after the procedure until the surgical site has fully healed. Your vascular specialist will provide you more information about your specific instructions.
Before the procedure, your vascular specialist will likely require you to undergo ultrasound imaging so he or she has a complete image of your veins. In most cases, sclerotherapy can be performed right in the doctor’s office without anesthesia. The procedure typically takes less than an hour.
Before starting the procedure, you will lie on your back and the areas of your legs that will be treated will be cleaned and sanitized. Your vascular surgeon will then insert a fine needle into the treatment area. Once in place, the surgeon will inject the solution. You may experience minor stinging or cramping when the needle is inserted or the solution is injected.
After the solution has been injected, your surgeon will remove the needle and apply warm compresses to your legs to massage the solution through your veins. The number of injections you will receive during sclerotherapy depends on the amount and size of your varicose or spider veins. Because this procedure is considered to be an aesthetic or cosmetic procedure, some insurance plans will not cover it. You should check with your insurance carrier to see if sclerotherapy will be covered.
After sclerotherpy is complete, you will be able to walk around – and it is important that you do so to prevent blood clots from forming. You may need to wear compression socks or bandages for about two weeks after the procedure. You can resume your normal activities later that same day or the next day, but you should avoid strenuous exercise for two weeks. You should also avoid sun exposure on your legs in the weeks following your treatment.
Why Choose UHealth?
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to caring for every patient. That’s why they offer the latest treatments, including limb salvage, endovascular grafting and thoracic outlet decompression, to improve your blood flow.
All the care you need, from one physician. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures so you can have the same physician for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.
Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms and more every year. You can rely on their experience to help you avoid complications and have a positive outcome.