How To Prepare for a Sclerotherapy Treatment

Feeling self-conscious about your spider veins? Then sclerotherapy treatment is the answer for you. This quick, non-surgical treatment can help reduce the appearance of spider veins and some varicose veins. Just think, sclerotherapy might give you back the confidence to wear shorts in the summer again!

Doctor inserting needle into patient's spider veins.


As with any medical procedure, apprehension can be common. Particularly with vein treatments, because in order to fix veins, you must go beneath the surface of the skin. This can cause a great deal of dread for people who can barely get themselves through a flu shot.


If you’re one who fears medical treatments of any kind, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you an all-encompassing look at what it’s like to get sclerotherapy, what to expect before and after the treatment, and how long it’ll take to see results.


Is Sclerotherapy Really for Me?


Do you want to stop withering away in a pair of pants when it’s 90 degrees outside? If so, sclerotherapy is definitely worth your while. Just look at some before and after pictures of the procedure. As you can see, the results can be life-changing. Especially if spider veins are compromising your self-confidence.


All things considered, sclerotherapy is a quick and easy procedure. The process can be uncomfortable but not intolerable. At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, we use the smallest needle available to lessen pain and improve recovery. So rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to make sure your sclerotherapy experience is as efficient and smooth as possible.


Everything You Should Know About Sclerotherapy Side Effects


Though the effectiveness of sclerotherapy can be life changing, it’s not without side effects. When you undergo sclerotherapy, the following outcomes are possible:

  • Ulcers on the skin
  • Scarring and dark spots
  • Allergic reactions
  • Superficial phlebitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis


Let’s be clear—these side effects sound a lot more extreme than they really are. The likelihood of ulcers developing is 0.2 to 1.2%. And though scarring may occur after the treatment, it should not be permanent. Hemosiderin staining, caused by iron in red blood cells, can stain your skin after injection. But this generally lasts 1-2 years and is rarely permanent.


Dark spots aren’t an uncommon side effect of sclerotherapy. But they are known to disappear six months later. In the grand scheme of things, these temporary side effects are certainly worth the confidence you’ll gain from ridding your legs of spider veins.


Superficial phlebitis, aka vein inflammation, can be linked to sclerotherapy. But if the correct measures are taken (which include compression and anti-inflammatory medication) this should be no problem. Allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe, are a possible but uncommon outcome of sclerotherapy. Test to see if you are allergic to the solution used in treatment. If that’s the case, there are plenty of wonderful alternatives your doctor can use instead.


The risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may sound terrifying, but rest assured that it’s very, very rare. In fact, less than 1% of patients who undergo sclerotherapy experience it. And of those patients, the majority have existing thromboembolic complications. If you currently have DVT, a conversation with your vein specialist can help you determine if sclerotherapy is a safe option for you.


The Remarkable Speed of Sclerotherapy Treatment


Sclerotherapy is one of the most efficient vein procedures out there. It only lasts 10 to 30 minutes. Why so short? Because it’s a very simple procedure that allows you and your vein specialist to briskly banish those vile veins and get on with your day.


Sclerotherapy starts by injecting a solution called sclerosant into the vein to irritate its lining. This collapses the vein and causes the lining to stick together. Like magic, the vein is absorbed by your body and eventually disappears altogether.


Does the thought of collapsed lining and vein absorption make you cringe? It shouldn’t. The sclerotherapy process is a cinch and will be over before you know it. That being said, you’ll want to prepare for the treatment beforehand. So here are the best ways to make sure you’re ready.


How To Prep for Your Sclerotherapy Treatment


Obeying the following rules will ensure you don’t have any issues during your sclerotherapy treatment:


  • Refrain from Vitamin E or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Advil or aspirin for at least 1 week before treatment. This may be bad news for those with a proclivity for headaches. But the migraines will be worth it for spider vein-free skin.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing is the best thing you can do for your veins at this time. So trade in those skin-tight jeans and yoga pants for your baggiest pair of sweats.
  • Now is not the time for moisturization. Your skin should be void of any lotion prior to treatment.
  • For optimal success, this procedure requires a sober, smoke-free patient. So avoid consuming alcohol or nicotine beforehand.


Best Practices for Successful Sclerotherapy Recovery


Following these instructions will ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Avoid sports or exercise for at least 10 days after your treatment. Because why not take the only opportunity your doctor will give you to be superbly lazy for a week and a half?
  • Wear compression stockings for 5 days or as advised by your doctor. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of stylish options to choose from.
  • Avoid warm baths, sunbathing, hot tubs, and saunas for at least 2-3 days after your treatment. This causes blood vessels to dilate.


What to Realistically Expect From Sclerotherapy


Don’t be under the impression that this surgery instantly erases any trace of spider veins. Your veins will be visible after treatment and may last anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. The duration of this is dependent on how large the veins were, to begin with.


Ideally, those pesky spider veins would cease to exist after your first round of sclerotherapy. But the likelihood of eliminating all of them within one session is small. So you’ll probably want to schedule a follow-up treatment in 4-6 weeks. Most people need 2-3 sessions or more to achieve their desired results. But since sclerotherapy is so easy and quick, this should be no biggie.


Sclerotherapy Is Easier Than You Think


If your boss won’t sign off on two weeks of post-treatment recovery, you’re in luck. As soon as the sclerotherapy is done, you can head straight back to work. You may experience some minor pain at the injection site but all in all, this treatment won’t stop you from moving onward and upwards.


What’s the magic formula for avoiding potential side effects from sclerotherapy? Following all of your vein doctor’s post-treatment advice to a T. This can lower your risk of experiencing cramps, scarring, or browning of the skin and ensure the most successful results. And if you’re still not convinced, give this video a watch and see just how irresistible your veins can look after sclerotherapy.



At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our expert medical staff has years of experience treating people with venous conditions such as varicose veins, spider veins, and more. Our dedicated team specializes in providing attentive and personalized care, something larger clinics often overlook. We welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.

Contact us today to schedule a FREE virtual consultation and vein evaluation.