Sclerotherapy is a safe, practiced, and effective skin care procedure to treat spider veins. The procedure has been around for nearly a century, and has evolved over time with advancing techniques and technology. However, the decision to undergo spider vein treatment is very personal, and the patient should consider whether the potential risks are acceptable to them.
At the time of initial consultation, the treatment provider will explain the risks and complications in order to ensure that the patient makes a well-considered decision. Safety and success rate of the procedure is, however, very high when sclerotherapy is performed by an experienced provider. Accomplished dermatologist Dr. Steven Zimmet provides sclerotherapy to patients in Austin, TX and surrounding locations.
Temporary Side Effects
Sclerotherapy to treat spider veins is an injectable procedure, and may have a few common side effects that may occur at the injection sites. These include:
- Mild bruising
- Raised red areas
- Tiny skin sores
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple red blood vessels
These side effects will generally dissipate within a few days to a few weeks. However, in exceptional cases, the side effects may take months or even years to completely disappear.
In rare cases, more serious complications may occur after sclerotherapy dermatology procedure, which may need to be medically treated. These include:
Inflammation is generally mild, but may lead to discomfort, warmth and swelling around the site of injections. Aspirin may be prescribed by the treatment provider to mitigate inflammation.
In a few cases, a lump of clotted blood may occur in a treated vein that will need to be drained. Very rarely, a blood clot may travel to a deeper vein in the treated area. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis.
Deep vein thrombosis involves a risk of pulmonary embolism, which is an extremely rare complication of sclerotherapy. This is an emergency where the clot travels from the injection site to the lungs and blocks a crucial artery. If the patient experiences dizziness, chest pain or difficulty in breathing, they should seek prompt medical care.
Formation of Air Bubbles
Tiny air bubbles may form in the bloodstream. Sometimes these bubbles will not cause symptoms, but if they do, these could include headaches, visual difficulties, nausea and fainting. The symptoms will usually go way, but if the patient experiences difficulties with sensation or limb movement, they should seek medical help.
A few patients may experience an allergic reaction to the solution used in the sclerotherapy injectable procedure. However, this is an uncommon occurrence.
How to Minimize Risk
The patient should ideally receive sclerotherapy treatment from a qualified and experienced dermatology professional. Each treatment session should be performed a few weeks apart to allow the treated veins to respond and ensure sustainable results. Following the procedure, the patient may be encouraged to walk on a treadmill for about 15 minutes.
Aerobic activity, such as walking or biking, may be recommended for about 30 minutes a day for at least one week. Compression stockings should be worn for about three to seven days, depending on the extent of treatment. Highly accomplished dermatologist Dr. Zimmet receives patients from Austin, TX for sclerotherapy.