Treatments for Sclerotherapy Leg Veins
With around 25-33% of women and 10-20% of men experiencing leg veins, this is a common condition. While some people do not mind their appearance, another worry about what they may mean for their health. In other cases, those who have leg veins feel self-conscious, and so they seek cosmetic treatments to reduce their appearance.
The most common cosmetic treatment is Sclerotherapy for leg veins. In simple terms, Sclerotherapy involves injecting a saline solution into the vein. The processes that follow afterwards will then cause it to disappear.
While Sclerotherapy for leg veins is a safe procedure, it is essential that patients only choose an experienced clinician when seeking the treatment. Also, individual patients may not be eligible due to ongoing health conditions, the nature of their leg veins, or medications they are taking.
What are leg veins?
Sometimes referred to as ‘varicose veins,’ leg veins are blood vessels that become overgrown and enlarged. As a result of this, they appear visible beneath the skin. While some have a blue or purple appearance, others may look red.
Leg veins or thread veins begin to appear when the blood vessel weakens. Unlike arteries, veins do not have a robust cellular wall. As a result, they are more prone to weakening when a patient encounters collagen breakdown. Unfortunately, collagen breakdown is a natural part of the ageing process. Other contributing factors can include:
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle, which causes blood to pool in the legs and weaken the vessels further
- Excessive UV light exposure, which causes collagen to break down also
- Certain medical conditions, including diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Taking oral contraceptives
- Receiving postmenopausal hormone therapies
- Occupations that involve standing for long periods of time, such as teaching and nursing
- Patients whose parents have leg veins are also more likely to develop them
Regardless of the cause of leg veins, if someone is feeling self-conscious or worried about them, they may want to seek treatment. Sclerotherapy for leg veins is highly effective but is not suitable for everyone.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment that involves injecting a saline-like solution directly into the vein. When this happens, the body responds by initiating its clotting cascade. Eventually, the inside of the vein encounters so much damage it collapses and dies.
Once the vein has collapsed, it is no longer visible beneath the skin. While its appearance may linger for a short period, the body will eventually absorb the dead tissue. As a result, the leg veins disappear.
Is using Sclerotherapy for leg veins safe?
As a cosmetic treatment that is used worldwide to treat leg veins, Sclerotherapy is safe. However, like any medical intervention, it does come with some risks. Also, some patients cannot use Sclerotherapy for leg veins.
The risks of using Sclerotherapy for leg veins
Some side effects patients may experience after using Sclerotherapy for leg veins include:
- Short periods of discomfort and burning afterwards
- Swelling in the area where the treatment takes place
- Hyperpigmentation, which means darkening or reddening of the skin where the clinician injects the solution
- Excessive hair growth at the injection site
- Migraine-like headaches
Before and after your procedure, your doctor will discuss the risks associated with using Sclerotherapy for leg veins. Some are more common than others, and most are quite rare. As the procedure does increase a patient’s risk of encountering blood clots, it is essential to follow the aesthetic doctor’s guidance on wearing compression stockings.
Who can’t use Sclerotherapy for leg veins?
Some people cannot use Sclerotherapy for leg veins. Such persons include:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Those who have uncontrolled diabetes
- Anybody who has a fever on the day of the procedure
- Patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis/DVT
- Those who are taking anticoagulants
- People who are taking corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone or
What does Sclerotherapy involve?
Sclerotherapy for leg veins is a procedure that a qualified doctor can carry out in their office. As such, patients can receive the treatment and walk away on the same day. Each treatment lasts between five minutes and half-an-hour, depending on how many thread veins the doctor needs to address.
Following the procedure, the Rutland Aesthetic team will recommend applying pressure to the area to maximise its benefits. Usually, this means wearing compression stockings for a short period. How long each patient needs to wear the stockings for depends on the nature of their condition, as well as the number of treatments they receive.
Afterwards, it is normal to experience a stinging sensation. Some patients also encounter cramping or burning momentarily, which is also standard.
While some patients require only one treatment, others need repeated sessions. Whether more than one course is necessary depends on the size of the vein that your doctor is treating and how engorged it is.
Who can administer my Sclerotherapy?
In the UK, only doctors who have received adequate training can administer Sclerotherapy for leg veins. In some cases, patients may find that an Advanced Nurse Practitioner/ANP performs the procedure, but this is under the guidance of a doctor who has completed an initial assessment. Dr Dhesi is a GP and registered-practitioner with AGE Group.
How can I prepare for my Sclerotherapy for leg vein procedure?
The preparations you need before your Sclerotherapy procedure is discussed at your initial consultation. However, Rutland Aesthetics usually advise that:
- Do not use any lotions, oils, or similar substances on your legs for 24 hours before the procedure
- If you start using a new medication, contact Rutland Aesthetics before attending the appointment
- If you receive a new diagnosis, contact Rutland Aesthetics ahead of the appointment
- Bring a pair of shorts to wear during the procedure, and some loose-fitting trousers to wear above your compression stockings for when you leave the office
If you have any questions about preparing for your leg vein treatment, ask at your initial consultation. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact the Rutland Aesthetics team for further advice.
How Rutland Aesthetics Can Help You
At Rutland Aesthetics, our clinical director Dr Dhesi administers Sclerotherapy for leg veins. As a GP with extensive experience, an army medical background, and Aesthetic Medical training, he has the expertise and skills you require for a safe Sclerotherapy procedure.
We want you to feel comfortable with your procedure from start to finish. As such, Dr Dhesi will perform an initial examination and consultation before arranging your Sclerotherapy treatment. If you would like to make an appointment or learn more about the procedure, contact us.