Varicose veins are twisted, swollen veins—often purple or blue in color—that are often on the legs and feet. For some people, these veins are just a mild cosmetic concern, but if your veins cause soreness or pain, you may want to consider removing them with sclerotherapy. Read on to address some questions you may have about this surgery.
What's the Procedure Like?
The procedure is minimally invasive. Your doctor will inject a chemical irritant into the varicose vein which will cut off the flow of blood and cause it to shrink. Some doctors may use laser therapy along with the chemical injection.
What's the Difference Between Sclerotherapy and Ablation?
The goal of both procedures is to cause the veins to collapse. While sclerotherapy is done with chemical injections, ablation requires the doctor to insert a catheter into the vein. The heat from the catheter causes the vein to shrink. Both procedures are minimally invasive as your doctor can sue local anesthetic. The main difference between the two procedures is that sclerotherapy is more suitable to smaller varicose veins while ablation is used for larger veins.
Can You Treat Other Issues Along With Veins?
Sclerotherapy isn't just used for varicose veins. This procedure can also treat hydroceles, hemorrhoids, sluggish lymph vessels, and spider veins. Spider veins can look similar to varicose veins, but they are usually thinner and more superficial on the skin.
How Much Does the Procedure Cost?
One appointment can cost between $200 and $1,000. The price will depend on how many veins you need to treat, whether a portion is covered by insurance, and what the rates are like in your region. However, the cost can be worth it for many people. One study found that 86% of the participants were able to quell their symptoms with sclerotherapy.
What Is Recovery Like?
You may be a little sore and have some bruising afterwards. Your doctor may have you wear bandages or compression stockings for a couple of weeks to help the veins from swelling. You can usually return to your activities after treatment, but you may need someone to drive you home after the procedure if you are sore.
Can Veins Come Back?
Unfortunately, these veins can come back for some people even after treatment. However, there are usually other health circumstances causing their return. For instance, if you plan on getting pregnant, you may want to wait to have your sclerotherapy treatment afterward since pregnancy can increase the chances of varicose vein development. Some patients' veins may return because of an obstructive disease, like deep-vein thrombosis, that may increase their likelihood of recurrence after treatment. If your veins return, you may want to see a specialist to address the underlying root cause.
Contact a specialist in your area for more details.