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Varicose Vein Removal: What to Expect with Sclerotherapy

Whether your varicose veins have started to cause pain and swelling in your legs or whether you’re just ready to have beautiful legs again, you’re ready for sclerotherapy. What happens during sclerotherapy? How do you prepare? How do you recover?

Varicose veins are dysfunctional veins that can’t propel your blood forward healthily due to valves that have weakened and broken down. The blood pools behind the broken valves, leading to engorged and twisted veins. You may develop varicose veins due to excess pressure on your legs from:

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

  • Long-term standing

  • Long-term sitting

  • Long-term walking

You’re also more likely to develop varicose veins if you’re female and as you grow older. Although varicose veins are usually benign and don’t cause trouble, they can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Ulcerated skin

  • Discolored skin

  • Pain in the legs

  • Swollen legs and feet

Whether you experience symptoms or not, you probably don’t appreciate how varicose veins make your legs look. You’ve decided to remove them with a simple treatment called sclerotherapy

At Central Utah Dermatology, our medical dermatology experts perform sclerotherapy for both varicose veins and the less visible but still unsightly spider veins. We perform sclerotherapy in the comfort and safety of our Richfield, Utah, office.

What can you expect from sclerotherapy? Below is a brief timeline.

First, we evaluate your veins

Before we perform sclerotherapy, we ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Some issues that could affect your candidacy include:


You can’t receive sclerotherapy if you’re currently pregnant.

Blood clots

If you've had blood clots in the past, you may not be eligible.

We may also exclude veins that would be appropriate for bypass surgery in case you need that in the future. If the veins are too deteriorated, however, we will remove them.

You must avoid blood thinners 

Although sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure, we still want to keep bleeding to a minimum. That’s why we recommend avoiding certain medications and substances before your vein removal, including:

  • Aspirin

  • Ibuprofen

  • Ginger

  • Garlic

Your doctor gives you a complete list of substances to avoid for a few days before sclerotherapy. You should also avoid putting lotion or oil on your legs before you come to our office.

The procedure is simple

The procedure is fast and easy once it’s time to perform sclerotherapy. In fact, it should be finished in about 15-20 minutes, depending on how many veins we treat.

You sit comfortably while we clean the operative site. We then inject a solution directly into your varicose veins. You may feel mild cramping at the injection site for a minute or two

The solution is either a saline solution or another type of mild irritant. The solution irritates the lining of the dysfunctional vein, causing it to collapse in on itself. 

Eventually, the blood vessel turns into scar tissue or debris that’s removed from the body. In the meantime, without the dysfunctional valve slowing down blood flow, your circulation reroutes itself to healthier veins. 

Take it easy for a few days

You may be slightly sore after your procedure. Regardless, we advise you to refrain from running or vigorous exercise or activity for several days after sclerotherapy. Refrain from cardiovascular exercise, which could stress your blood vessels.

Side effects are generally mild and only last a few days. You can expect mild itching or discomfort and some swelling or bruising. However, contact us immediately if you experience rare effects such as intense pain, swelling, or ulcers.

You can support your healing veins with other steps, too. We recommend:

  • Wearing compression stockings

  • Avoiding hot baths or compresses

  • Avoiding saunas or spas

  • Avoiding sunlight

Also, refrain from aspirin and other substances you withheld before your procedure.

Enjoy your results

You can eliminate anywhere from 50-80% of dysfunctional varicose veins during each sclerotherapy session. Spider veins usually disappear within six weeks. Large varicose veins may take up to four months to resolve.

Get ready for warm weather and hot styles by caring for your varicose veins today. Call our friendly office team or use our online booking form for your sclerotherapy appointment.

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