Calming Concerns About Sclerotherapy For Varicose Veins

If your varicose veins have begun to make your legs itchy, tired, and sore, then it is time to pursue treatment. For most patients these days, that means sclerotherapy — a procedure by which a special solution is injected into the veins to seal them off, eventually killing the vein and allowing the body to reabsorb it. Most patients make it through sclerotherapy with few to no issues, but still, you may have some concerns as you consider this procedure. You can find those concerns addressed below.

#1: Sclerotherapy will hurt.

Injections are not entirely pain-free, so you may worry that lots of injections in your legs will be pretty painful. But this is really not the case. Your doctor will typically have you lie down with your legs up and guarded by a sheet, so you won't see them injecting you. This reduces your apprehension and thereby your pain. Many doctors also apply a topical numbing cream before injecting you, which further dulls the sensation. You may feel some warmness and tingling in the hours following sclerotherapy, but it's not really painful — just uncomfortable.

#2: Sclerotherapy will impede circulation in your legs.

Since sclerotherapy takes away veins, you may worry it will impede circulation. But the veins you're having removed — varicose veins — are already so damaged that they are not doing their jobs. Your doctor will only be using sclerotherapy to remove these damaged veins. They'll leave your healthy, functioning, larger veins intact. If anything, your circulation will improve once the damaged veins are gone.

In rare cases, patients do develop a blood clot after sclerotherapy. Blood clots can impede circulation and become particularly dangerous if they move into the heart or lungs. If you experience any aching in your legs after sclerotherapy, let your doctor know ASAP, as this could be a sign of a blood clot.

#3: Sclerotherapy won't be covered by insurance.

Many patients worry that their health insurance won't cover this procedure because it is largely cosmetic. However, if your varicose veins are causing you pain or discomfort, then your doctor can easily argue that sclerotherapy is a necessary medical treatment and not just cosmetic in your case. Appealing to get your costs covered might take a little while, but these efforts are usually successful. 

With your concerns addressed, you are now ready to consult with your doctor about sclerotherapy. If you have any other questions, just ask.