What are the Potential Side Effects of Sclerotherapy?

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When considering any medical procedure, it’s important to understand the potential risks and side effects involved. Sclerotherapy is no exception. While sclerotherapy is considered a relatively safe procedure, there are some potential side effects that patients should be aware of.

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment for spider and varicose veins, where a solution is injected into the affected vein to cause it to collapse and eventually disappear. You can click here to learn more about the sclerotherapy procedure.  While this procedure is generally safe and effective, there are some potential side effects that patients should be aware of.

Here are the most common side effects of sclerotherapy:

  • Bruising

Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the affected vein, which can cause some bruising at the injection site. This bruising is usually minor and will fade over time. You can apply ice packs to the area to help reduce any swelling or bruising.

  • Raised red areas, called hives

Some patients may experience raised red areas on the skin, known as hives, after sclerotherapy. This is usually temporary and will go away on its own without any treatment. You can also take an antihistamine to help alleviate any itching or discomfort.

  • Small skin sores

In rare cases, patients may develop small skin sores at the injection site. These sores are typically minor and will heal on their own without any treatment. However, if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness or pus, it’s important to contact your doctor.

  • Darkened skin

In some cases, sclerotherapy can cause the skin around the injection site to become darker. This is known as hyperpigmentation and is more common in patients with darker skin tones. While this side effect may be permanent, it usually fades over time.

  • A number of tiny red blood vessels

Sometimes, instead of disappearing completely, the treated veins may turn into a number of tiny red blood vessels. However, these are usually not visible to the naked eye and do not cause any significant discomfort or harm.

  • Inflammation

Some patients may experience mild inflammation or swelling in the area where the solution was injected. This is usually temporary and will subside within a few hours after the procedure.

  • Air bubbles

Occasionally, small air bubbles may enter the bloodstream during sclerotherapy. These usually pass through without causing any harm, but it’s important to inform your doctor if you experience any dizziness or shortness of breath after the procedure.

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