By: Dr. Craig Crippen
Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins – Not So Scary
Not long ago, I blogged about my grandmother and her issues with the varicose veins in her legs. Heaven help me if she ever read that blog! She really doesn’t like her legs, let alone having her granddaughter discuss them in a public forum. Chances are, however, that she’d likely taken even greater issue with the fact that I used the word “stubborn” to describe her approach to dealing with her varicose veins.
Oh, I love grandma. But referring to her as “old-fashioned” is an understatement. And it’s not even that she’s that old! It’s just that when discussing any type of medical procedure, she assumes the worst. And to be honest, this is a trend that I find prevalent among many people who I talk to about skin treatments.
They are generally under this impression that the procedures will either be agonizingly long or just plain agonizing. This is especially true when an injection of any kind is required to carry out the process. I could barely get the words “ Endovenous Laser Treatment” out of my mouth when speaking to my grandmother about her varicose veins…imagine me trying to bring up “Sclerotherapy”!
For those of a less stubborn nature (sorry grandma!), Sclerotherapy is nowhere near as scary as it sounds. In fact, it has been proven to be a safe and painless way to treat conditions such as varicose veins. It does involve an injection of what is known as a “sclerosing agent” into the problem veins.
This procedure has also been called “Spider Vein Treatment”. Way to make it sound less scary, right? But, in all seriousness, patients who undergo this treatment can expect for it to take no more than fifteen minutes. As well, they can return to their normal activities as soon as the procedure is over.
And hey, for those needing a little bit of an incentive to get some exercise, Sclerotherapy is an ideal motivator! That’s because it is recommended that patients walk immediately after getting the treatment for at least half an hour. In addition, it’s important that they walk for 30 minutes a day over the following four to six weeks, after receiving the injection. This will allow for proper recovery…not to mention help you get into shape!
Perhaps, my grandma wouldn’t be all intrigued by this suggestion after all. But I do know that for those looking to do away with their varicose veins Sclerotherapy gradually reduces the size and visibility of those “unsightly” veins until they are completely absorbed into the body. See, nothing to be scared of!