In the United States, around 40 million people suffer from varicose veins, so it is a very common condition. Although it is mild in most people, those who suffer from an extreme form may experience significant pain and cramping in the legs. What’s more, some patients develop further conditions that could be life-threatening. For this reason, at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA, we offer sclerotherapy: one of the most effective varicose treatments.
This method, also called endovenous chemical ablation, involves injecting a chemical substance in your veins that will help your body to break them down. It is considered permanent because the veins are gone forever. Despite this, you could develop new varicosities in the future, which would require further sclerotherapy treatment. Let’s have a look at how this therapy could help you and what you can do to ensure long-lasting results.
How Permanent Is Sclerotherapy?
If you have varicose veins, you might be worried about the way they look on your legs, the excessive cramping you might feel, and the pain associated with this problem. Indeed, it’s unlikely that your varicosities will disappear on their own, so you should get treatment as soon as you are able. Endovenous chemical ablation is one of the best methods because it is minimally invasive and permanent at the same time.
The chemical substance that is injected into your veins will irritate their wall and eventually make them collapse. As a result, your body will realize that the veins in question are no longer functional and break them down. Since you have many veins in your body, your blood will then simply find a new pathway, and you won’t suffer from the varicosity again.
Because the sclerotherapy treatment is minimally invasive, it is relatively simple. If you are only getting one varicose vein treated, you could be in and out of the clinic in half an hour. However, most people need several injections on both legs, since the condition often occurs in various veins. This might mean that you need to come by several times, and each appointment will be around six weeks apart.
Once you arrive, the medical professional will start by applying some numbing cream in the treatment area. That way, you won’t feel any pain as the solution is injected. They will also mark the exact injection site, which will make the process easier. Finally, your vein will be filled with the chemical solution that will break it down over time. After your appointment, you are free to go home and resume your normal activities.
There isn’t much you have to do before treatment, since this method is not considered surgery. However, we need to have a full medical history and details of the medications you currently take, so we can assess whether this is the best option for you. If you take any blood-thinning drugs or supplements, you’ll need to pause them for the duration of treatment in order to avoid any side effects.
Similarly, you should stop smoking or otherwise consuming nicotine because this can affect the speed of healing. Direct sunlight and tanning beds should also be avoided, and your medical professional will give you instructions about the best way to remove leg hair prior to treatment. Shaving or waxing might not be ideal and could interfere with sclerotherapy.
After your session, you shouldn’t have to rest or stay away from work for longer time periods. However, we ask you to wear compression stockings for around 14 days to speed up the healing process. What’s more, you should avoid strenuous exercise and very hot environments such as saunas or hot tubs. This can prevent any side effects and ensure you achieve the best result.
Because the chemical used is so powerful, you will most likely see 60% of your varicose veins disappear after your initial treatments. As mentioned, they won’t come back once they are dissolved, so you can enjoy the results of your session for the rest of your life. If you need more assistance, you can return to the clinic and have further sessions or use a different method to address any remaining varicosities.
How Can You Prevent Further Varicosities?
Because the treatment is considered permanent, you are unlikely to need to come back for more treatment once the majority of your varicosities are gone. However, a change in your lifestyle or the natural aging process can prompt new ones to form, so you should be careful. Remember that this condition is genetic, and if you’ve had it before, you are susceptible to it again.
In fact, 90% of people whose parents both have varicose veins will also develop them in the future. Despite this high genetic correlation, there is a lot you can do to minimize your varicosities and the symptoms they bring with them.
Monitor Your Weight
Being overweight or obese is considered a risk factor for spider and varicose veins, so losing weight or maintaining a healthy BMI can be one of the best ways of preventing further problems. Although you can’t get rid of existing varicosities this way, you can keep yourself healthy after your treatment by eating well and keeping your weight under control.
Aside from preventing varicosities, this will also keep your circulatory system in good shape. Remember that in some people, varicosities can indicate or be related to other circulatory conditions. Thus, becoming healthier could prevent a variety of conditions and even prolong your life.
Lead a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
In addition to simply losing weight, you will need to keep your lifestyle healthy overall. This means eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and exercising regularly. Varicosities make the blood pool in your veins, and this can be prevented by walking regularly and doing mild to moderate exercise.
After your sclerotherapy, avoid rushing into doing strenuous workouts and instead build up slowly. Achieving a healthy lifestyle is a long-term process, and you’ll need to keep working on it over time. If you feel you could benefit from expert help, your clinic might be able to suggest nutritionists and personal trainers in your local area.
Check Your Medications
During your assessment, we will have a look at some of the factors that are contributing to your problems. Our specialists can check which parts of your lifestyle are optimized and which ones might need some work post-treatment. One aspect that is sometimes neglected is the medications you are currently on.
Certain drugs can cause problems with your veins and be the reason why you are suffering from spider or varicose veins. If this is the case, you will need to speak to the doctor who prescribed them and ask for either a different dosage or a new type of drug. That way, you won’t risk having to come back for more treatment.
Use Compression Socks
Finally, you will need to wear compression socks or stockings in the weeks after your surgery. However, we advise you to keep them handy and wear them for short periods of time even when you have fully recovered from varicose vein treatment. Not only can they protect you from this condition, but they can also keep other and more severe issues, such as deep venous thrombosis, at bay.
In particular, you’ll need your socks or stockings when you’re sitting or lying down for a long time. This could be during a flight, a long car trip, or an operation that requires you to stay in hospital overnight. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and your compression socks can help keep you healthy in the long term.
Get Rid of Your Varicosities Now
If you’ve been suffering from spider or varicose veins for a long time, you’ll know that this condition can be painful. Sclerotherapy can not only help you to achieve smooth, attractive-looking legs, but it can also provide much-needed pain relief. The treatment is simple and minimally invasive, so you won’t need to spend a lot of time recovering. What’s more, it’s considered permanent and doesn’t require further intervention.
The best way forward is to contact your local clinic and speak to a professional about your varicosities. Get in touch with us today at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA and book your initial consultation, during which we will assess your current condition and find a solution. We offer several ways of removing spider and varicose veins, and our highly qualified providers can help you figure out which one is most appropriate.