Sclerotherapy (varicose vein treatment). One of the most common problems that women face comes in the form of ‘spider veins’ (clusters of blue, purple or red veins which usually appear on the ankles, calves and thighs). These veins lie close to the surface of the skin and the appearance of ‘spider veins’ can be due to hormonal changes, heredity, pregnancy, significant weight changes or activities which require standing or sitting for very long periods of time.
Another similar type of veins which appear are the varicose veins; these are slightly larger that the ‘spider veins’, are darker in color and have a tendency to bulge. This type of vein is more likely to cause some sort of pain and may be related to more serious circulatory disorders.
If you are self conscious about the way your legs look, then sclerotherapy may be the solution for you. By removing the ‘spider’ and varicose veins, your legs will regain a more youthful appearance, enhancing your self-confidence and the way you relate to others.
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What Can I Expect
Whenever it comes to cosmetic treatment, you need to keep in mind that no procedure will ever provide an ‘ideal’ aspect to your face. The aim of this kind of procedure is to achieve an improvement, to enhance your facial appearance. This can help you boost your self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself, while keeping realistic expectations. This is one of the core values we have here at HCR; we want our clients to be completely satisfied with the results of their treatment and to heighten their self-assurance.
When it comes to sclerotherapy, you must keep in mind that the affected vein will disappear completely and it usually takes more than one session to reach the desired results. Also, this procedure only treats the veins which have come to the surface and does not prevent other ‘untreated’ veins from becoming visible with time.
The best candidates for this treatment usually fall in the age range of 30 to 60. However, these types of veins can become visible in women very early in their lives, such as in their teenage years. ‘Spider veins’ aren’t as common in men as in women, but they sometimes do happen; keep in mind that sclerotherapy has the same level of effectiveness in both genders.
HCR connects you with one of the best teams of doctors in the industry and we are therefore aware of the different types of needs our diverse patients have. But no matter what you are looking for, we will provide you with the best service and aid you in every possible way in your pursuit to enhance your appearance.
Before any type of procedure is performed, patients are expected to have a detailed discussion with their doctor. By doing so, both parties have the opportunity to contribute in the whole process and to increase the client’s level of satisfaction. The patient must discuss his/her expectations openly with their physician, who will help determine what isn’t or what is possible to accomplish. All the different aspects of the procedure you are willing to undertake (the cost and recovery process) must be extremely clear to you.
You will need to inform you doctor of any allergies you might be prone to or if you have any serious medical conditions. Make sure to ask your doctor concerning the diverse details that the treatment entails. For example, you should know if you should stop taking certain medications (eg: aspirin) or if you will need to refrain from drinking or eating for a certain time period before getting your treatment.
During this initial discussion, your doctor will most likely mark the affected areas of your legs with a black marker and will examine you to see if you suffer from more serious circulatory problems. If this is the case, your doctor will most likely refer you to another specialist, since ‘deep vein’ problems need to be addressed first before sclerotherapy can be performed.
When preparing for your surgery in Costa Rica, HCR will make sure to provide all the best possible services during your procedure. We will arrange for your transport and will offer the best commodities during your recovery. All this can be arranged previously with our organization.
If you have any questions, our doctors will be more than happy to help you during your initial discussion.
Sclerotherapy sessions usually don’t take very long and it is recommended that your wear shorts during the session to increase your comfort. Your legs are cleansed with an antiseptic solution and may be photographed to keep track of your progress in your medical records.
While you lie down on the examination table, your doctor will stretch the skin of your leg with one hand and will then inject the sclerosing solution into the veins. What this substance does is irritate the veins and cause a thrombus (blood clot); this eventually heals and produces scar tissue, which blocks the vein. By using a bright, indirect light and magnification, your physician ensures the highest level of precision when injecting your veins while completing the process.
Roughly, one injection is given for every inch of spider/varicose vein (from 5 to 40 injections per session, depending on the patient’s needs). Once an area of the leg is finished, a cotton ball and compression tape and put in place.
During the process, you might feel a mild numbing sensation or the sensation of ‘pins and needles’. Keep in mind that the pain is minimal during the sessions, since the sclerosing agent and needle are extremely thin.
Once the doctor is finished, he/she will sometimes apply a tight-fitting support hose to protect against possible deep vein blood clots, accelerating the healing process, which you may need to wear during the next 72 hours. The tape and cotton balls can be removed 48 hours later.
Post-Op – After The Procedure
After the procedure, you can expect a certain degree of swelling and bruising in the areas which have been injected. This persists for the initial 14 days but will usually subside after that. Also, you might also experience some skin staining (also know as telangiectatic matting) but this is a temporary condition.
The full effects of the treatment will be able to be seen after several weeks and you will find a significant improvement in the appearance of your legs. For this reason, most doctors recommend waiting a few weeks before submitting yourself to another sclerotherapy session.
Walking helps to decrease the side effects of the injections, therefore it is recommended that you exercise moderately for a minimum of once a day (in 20 minute sessions) during the period you are required to wear your compression hose. This helps to decrease the pressure in the superficial veins. You should refrain from taking hot baths during the first week after treatment, since heat dilates veins and can neutralize the effect of the sclerotherapy.
You can return to normal activity right away, but we recommend that you do not partake in any type of vigorous exercise, such as gym work or jogging. Also, sitting and standing for long periods of time should be avoided too, as should squatting and heavy weight lifting.
As with any type of cosmetic treatment, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. However, they are usually minor and can be reduced by following your doctor’s directions precisely before and after the procedure.
In very rare cases, a patient may experience:
- Severe inflammation.
- Bleeding – if this occurs, it will require immediate attention.
- Deep vein blood clotting.
- Ulceration of skin.
- Telangiectatic matting (appearance of reddish blood vessels) – may need further injections to be treated.
- Allergic reactions to the sclerosing agent.
- Pigmentation irregularity (brown splotches on skin) – these usually disappear over time.
Make sure to ask your doctor concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking this procedure. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else.
In order to keep the risks at a bare minimum, please make sure that you follow your physician’s instructions at all times.