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What to Avoid After Sclerotherapy

What to Avoid After Sclerotherapy

Jun 23, 2024 | Blog

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used in treating varicose veins and spider veins, usually on your legs. The procedure involves injecting a sclerosing agent into the affected vein which causes it to collapse and be reabsorbed into the body.

Sclerotherapy is a procedure meant to remove unsightly veins from your legs or to help you gain relief from varicose veins. This procedure can also help you avoid complications caused by varicose veins and prevent the need for surgical treatments such as vein stripping and ligation. Whatever the reason, aftercare is crucial to ensure proper healing after the procedure. Aftercare involves following your doctor’s orders which may include wearing compression stockings and avoiding strenuous exercises.

Are you tired of dealing with the discomfort and unsightly appearance of spider veins? At CACVI, our team of highly skilled vascular experts offer multiple varicose vein treatments designed to achieve optimal results with minimal complications. With over three decades of experience we provide the best possible care tailored to your needs. Don’t wait any longer to improve your vascular health — schedule your free consultation today!

In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at sclerotherapy and what to expect during the procedure including symptoms you may experience. Plus we will share important tips on what to avoid after getting this procedure done for a smooth and successful recovery.

Deep Dive on Sclerotherapy

Deep Dive on Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure used for varicose vein treatment. It is aimed at improving both your aesthetic and vascular health. During a sclerotherapy, a sclerosant solution is injected directly into your varicose veins. The solution causes these veins to collapse, forcing your blood to be rerouted into healthier veins. It is a versatile form of treatment, addressing both the prominent, larger veins that often cause discomfort and the small varicose veins that contribute to an unsightly appearance.

Because it is generally a painless procedure and a non-surgical treatment, anesthesia is typically not needed. All you may experience is mild discomfort during the injection. The number of injection varies based on the extent of your varicose or spider veins. The entire procedure takes approximately 30 -45 minutes.

After treatment, it is crucial to avoid activities that interfere with the healing process and could potentially compromise results. Such activities include sun exposure and strenuous exercise. CACVI offers various spider vein treatments including endovenous ablation, venography and venous stenting, and sclerotherapy. We provide effective solutions to blocked veins in legs and many other vascular issues ensuring comprehensive care for better vascular health.

Expected Outcomes and Benefits of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy treatment offers significant cosmetic improvements by reducing the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins. These veins can be unsightly, often appearing as twisted, bulging veins on the skin. By injecting sclerosant solution directly into your spider veins, they eventually fade away. This results in clearer and smoother skin in the affected area, enhancing the overall aesthetic appearance of that area. As a result, patients often experience a boost in confidence and become more comfortable wearing clothes that expose their legs.

Beyond its cosmetic advantages, sclerotherapy also provides medical benefits. Varicose veins can lead to serious discomfort caused by swelling in the legs or aching/burning pain. In more severe cases, issues like skin ulcers and blood clots may arise. Sclerotherapy treats these symptoms by removing the spider veins, thereby improving blood flow, and reducing pressure in the affected area. The treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no major surgery and typically leads to major improvements after a few sessions.

Immediate Post-Sclerotherapy Care

Because sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that does not need anesthesia, the initial recovery period usually lasts between 1-2 weeks. Patients who drive themselves to the hospital can safely drive themselves back home. For the first 48 hours avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen and avoid any direct sun exposure to the treated area. Hot baths or showers are not advised, however, you should clean the area using mild soap and lukewarm water.

The following weeks after the procedure your doctor will suggest taking walks to avoid the formation of blood clots. Compression stockings are also recommended to keep a light, constant pressure on the treated area. In most cases, you will have to undergo multiple sessions to completely clear any veins, so your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit to evaluate your progress.

Common Sensations and Symptoms Post-Sclerotherapy

Common Sensations and Symptoms Post-Sclerotherapy

A major concern about sclerotherapy is the possible side effects associated with the procedure. Fortunately, most people only experience mild symptoms of bruising, swelling, and hives where the needle entered their skin. These side effects typically go away within a few days to a week.

Less common symptoms post-sclerotherapy that should raise concern include allergic reactions, blood clots, ulcers, ulcerations, and tissue necrosis.

Allergic Reactions: An allergic reaction to sclerosants is rare but possible. It tends to occur with continued exposure to the solution as such watch out for any strange reactions even if you have taken it in the past without complications.

Ulcerations and Tissue Necrosis: An ulceration is any damage caused to the arteries near the skin by the solution injected into your veins. Additionally, in extremely rare cases, you may experience tissue necrosis. This is the death of skin layers causing the development of ulcers. Seek medical attention right away if you notice any ulcers on your legs after undergoing sclerotherapy treatment.

Blood Clots: There is a possibility for a blood clot to form inside the treated veins and they should be removed immediately to reduce your risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT can occur when an untreated blood clot travels into one of the deep veins in your body, usually your legs. In severe cases, DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, a situation where one of the blood clots blocks an artery in your lungs.

Receive the highest standard of care at our advanced cardiac and vascular center. Book your free consultation now to guarantee a safe and effective treatment plan specifically designed for you.

What to Avoid After Sclerotherapy

What to Avoid After Sclerotherapy

While sclerotherapy treatment is safe and often followed by a quick recovery period, it is important to exercise caution during this time. Certain activities such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise could potentially slow down your recovery. Below is a quick summary of a few things to avoid after a sclerotherapy.

Physical Activity

Although exercising after your sclerotherapy treatment is recommended, it should be done in moderation. You should avoid strenuous exercise like running and intense weight lifting which can increase pressure on these veins causing inflammation, swelling, or even vein rupture.

Instead, opt for light physical activities such as walking, yoga, and low-impact stretching. These alternatives promote blood circulation without putting excess pressure on the newly treated veins helping to prevent a blood clot.

Standing and Sitting

An important thing to do after undergoing sclerotherapy treatment is to stay active. Keeping active through walking has a positive impact on circulation in your legs and prevents the formation of blood clots in your veins. In contrast, prolonged standing or sitting can lead to the development of a new blood clot. Your doctor may advise you to go on daily walks for a few days after your procedure and to avoid long periods of immobility.

Hot Environments

Another common recommendation from a doctor after a sclerotherapy is to steer clear of hot baths, showers, and steam rooms for the first week. The heat exposure could cause the closed veins to open back up. This can severely hinder your recovery.

Additionally, exposure to UV lights can lead to inflammation in your blood vessels and cause swelling. This can also slow down your healing and cause discoloration in the affected area if not treated properly. If you can not help being out in the sun for long periods, it is best to protect yourself from its rays by wearing compression garments. You may also consider scheduling your procedure during a less sunny period like winter.

Skincare and Clothing After a Sclerotherapy Procedure

Skincare and Clothing After a Sclerotherapy Procedure

Considering skincare and clothing choices after a sclerotherapy procedure is essential for promoting quick recovery and preventing complications. Proper care in these areas can significantly impact your recovery and the overall success of the treatment.

Skincare

Avoiding certain skincare products and ingredients such as alcohol-based toners, retinoids, glycolic and salicylic acid is important. These ingredients can irritate the skin and interfere with your recovery process, potentially causing inflammation or allergic reactions. Opting for gentle, fragrance-free products that have soothing ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile can help prevent irritation and promote healing. Using a mild soap and lukewarm water is also recommended for cleaning the treated area.

Clothing Choices

Wearing tight clothing can hinder blood flow and slow down your recuperation period. Tight garments, especially around the treated areas, can increase pressure on the veins, causing discomfort and potentially leading to complications such as swelling or delayed healing.

You may be advised to wear compression stockings as they are an important component in post-sclerotherapy care. They help to improve blood circulation, prevent blood clots, and reduce swelling in your legs. By applying gentle pressure to your legs, these stockings can prevent the formation of blood clots, particularly in the lower parts of your leg. It is important to note that compression stockings cannot dislodge an already existing clot, however, they can effectively stop new ones from forming. To summarize the relationship between compression stockings and clots, they offer a non-invasive method to maintain a healthy blood flow and support vascular health.

It is important to wear compression stockings as directed by your doctor, usually for several weeks after your procedure. They should fit snuggly but not so tight that it causes you pain. You should wear them during the day, but not at night unless otherwise instructed by a vein specialist.

Medications and Supplements to Take after a Sclerotherapy

Before and after your sclerotherapy treatment you should avoid certain medications. Antibiotics such as tetracycline or minocycline should be avoided for the first 7-10 days after your procedure because they could stain your skin. Aspirins, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications should also be avoided because they are blood thinners and do not allow for proper recuperation. Tylenol and panadol are safe alternatives for the painkillers mentioned above. Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system in conditions such as asthma, autoimmune diseases, and severe allergies. Prednisone weakens the effectiveness of the sclerosant solution, as such remember to inform anyone prescribing you such medicine that you will soon undergo or have recently undergone a sclerotherapy.

Additionally, supplements like fish oil, vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, and garlic can increase bleeding risk. Similarly, herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort and ginseng can interfere with medications processed in the liver, potentially reducing the effectiveness of your sclerotherapy.

Before taking any supplements or herbal remedies after sclerotherapy, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on which products are safe to use and help you avoid any potential interactions or side effects. Your doctor can also recommend alternatives that support your recovery without compromising your health.

Monitoring After a Sclerotherapy Procedure and Follow-Ups

Monitoring After a Sclerotherapy Procedure and Follow-Ups

After your procedure, it is important to check for signs of complications. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include excessive pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site which may point to an infection. Additionally, pointers to an infection are fever, changes in skin color, and discharge. You should seek prompt medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

Regular follow-ups with your vein specialist will do you a ton of good because these visits allow your doctor to monitor your recovery and detect any early signs of complication. Because spider veins are generally not a cause for concern, they are written off as a cosmetic concern. Knowing when to worry about varicose veins is crucial for preventing complications. If you notice skin changes such as discoloration, hardening, or persistent swelling around varicose veins, or if you develop open sores that do not heal, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly.

Want to know What to Avoid after Sclerotherapy?

After sclerotherapy, it’s crucial to know what to avoid to ensure a smooth recovery and achieve optimal results. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercises to prevent complications like vein damage or excessive bleeding. Additionally, steer clear of hot baths, saunas, and direct sunlight on the treated areas, as they can interfere with recovery. Complying with these guidelines promotes faster recuperation and reduces the risk of side effects.

If you are in Los Angeles and looking for where to get a Peripheral Vascular Disease Evaluation, look no further than our Center for Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Interventions in LA. At CACVI, our expert doctors are prepared to answer all inquiries about sclerotherapy. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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