Sclerotherapy is a popular method of eliminating varicose veins and superficial telangiectasias (“spider veins”) in which a solution, called a sclerosing agent is injected into the veins. The majority of people who have sclerotherapy will be cleared or at least see a major improvement. Sclerotherapy never achieves one hundred percent perfection. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that sclerotherapy will be effective for you. Approximately 10% of patients who undergo sclerotherapy have fair to poor results. In rare instances the patient’s condition may become worse after sclerotherapy treatment. The number of treatments needed differs from patient to patient, depending on the extent of the problem. One to six or more treatments may be needed; the average being four.
The first thing you should know is that results are not instantaneous. It takes time for the veins to disappear. In fact, it is common and very probable, that your legs will look worse before getting better. Bruising at or near the injection site or along the course of the vein is common. This bruising can be black and blue marks which eventually turn yellowish or the bruising may be in the form of red marks. Small welts similar to mosquito bites may also occur at the injection sites. Do not worry about any of these. They are common and quite normal.
If you have had treatment for large veins, the bruising can be quite severe and even located at a distance from the injection areas. This is normal and you should not be concerned. Mild discomfort is also common. Severe discomfort is not normal.
The bruising usually fades away in a week but could possibly, in some cases, take up to two (2) weeks to fade. After the bruising goes away, you may see considerable fading of the treated veins. In some cases the veins may be completely gone. However, it can take up to six (6) weeks for the veins to fade to the maximum amount. A treatment should not be considered unsuccessful unless there is no significant improvement after several weeks.
In some cases there indeed may be no reaction or minimal improvement. Please keep in mind that no two patients or veins are alike. The choice of solution strength depends upon the size and location of the veins. The reaction of the vein can not always be predicted with great accuracy. It is always possible to repeat the treatment in an area at a subsequent visit should your response not be satisfactory. In fact, often by treating the veins gradually, the ultimate result will be much better.
If you develop a painful lump, it is probably trapped blood and you should see us. The optimal time frame for that would be 2-3 weeks after your injections. The blood is easily released from the vein and presents absolutely no health threat in the form of blood clots that travel. Trapped blood is also often present if the vein turns a darker color such as black/purple. It is your advantage to have this blood released as it will give you a better result.
Sometimes the vein will feel hard or lumpy after it heals. This is especially true when large veins have been treated. Sclerotherapy comes from the Greek work sclera, which means hard. Large veins that were once bulging and visible can sometimes still be noticeable but will appear smaller and will feel hard and rope like under the skin surface.
Please keep your expectations realistic. If we did not think we could help you we would not be treating you. Considerable improvement is easy to achieve and this is our goal and should be your expectation. Keep in mind that perfection is often difficult to achieve.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins are chronic and recurrent conditions. The variety of treatments available will not offer a cure, but rather control of the condition. Surgically removed veins cannot come back and veins which are sclerosed will not return. However, your tendency, inborn in the majority of cases, of developing new veins will not be relieved by this or any other form of treatment.
The treatment of large varicose veins is usually done with a minor surgical procedure, while the medium to small varicosities and spider veins are best treated with sclerotherapy.. Your particular condition may require a combination of any or all of these treatments.
Aside from sclerotherapy, alternative treatments for varicose veins exist. Because varicose veins and spider veins are not life-threatening conditions, treatment is not mandatory in every patient. Some patients get adequate relief of symptoms from wearing graduated support stockings. Ambulatory phlebectomy is another option which is a surgical procedure done with local anesthetic and small incisions along the vein. The other option is to receive no treatment at all.
Proposed Treatment Results
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science and therefore reputable practitioners cannot guarantee results. While the overwhelming number of patient have noted gratifying symptomatic and cosmetic improvement, we can not promise or guarantee any specific result and do not attempt to do so. It is critical to keep Dr. Hakimian and staff informed of any changes in your medical condition and to cooperate with the after-care – including any changes to address or phone number.
This form is designed to provide you with the information you will need to make an informed decision about whether to have Treatment preformed. If you have any questions or do not understand any potential risks, please ask for an explanation.