Many people with varicose veins basically shrug them off. Yes, they are ugly. Yes, they may your legs ache and itch sometimes — but what can you do? Actually, you can do more than you might think. And contrary to what was probably true in your parents' era, you do not need to have surgery to get rid of varicose veins, either. Many doctors are now recommending a treatment called sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Here's a closer look at what that treatment involves and why it's a good choice.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is s non-surgical treatment for varicose veins. That's right — the veins are not cut out of your legs. There are not even any incisions made. Instead, your doctor will simply inject each of your varicose veins with a special solution. This solution expands to fill the vein, stopping blood from flowing into it. In the days that follow, the vein tissue will die and then be reabsorbed by your body. The varicose vein will then be gone, or at least much smaller than they were.
Is sclerotherapy painful?
Sclerotherapy is not exactly comfortable, but most patients do not find it overtly painful, either. Doctors typically apply a numbing cream to the area before they start injecting the veins. This minimizes the sensation you experience, although it won't numb your legs entirely. You will probably feel a pinch each time the needle goes in, and then you'll feel some burning and itching as the solutions settle in your veins. This will pass within an hour or two.
Is sclerotherapy safe?
All medical procedures come with some risks, and sclerotherapy is no different. There is a risk of bruising and soreness near the injection sites. In rare cases, a blood clot may form in the vein, but staying active after the procedure helps reduce the risk of this problem. Sclerotherapy is much safer than surgical vein removal treatments because it does not involve anesthesia and because no incisions are required.
When do you know it is time for sclerotherapy?
It's time for sclerotherapy as soon as your varicose veins become more than a cosmetic problem. If your legs start to feel itchy, crampy, or just tired after you've been standing, this means your varicose veins are at a stage when they really require treatment.
Don't let varicose veins keep you down! Sclerotherapy is a good choice because it's safe and approachable.
To learn more about sclerotherapy, reach out to a local health professional.