Temporary side effects
Some side effects that may occur at the site of the injection include:
Raised red areas
Small skin sores
Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
Multiple tiny red blood vessels
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks. Some side effects can take months or even years to disappear completely.
Side effects that may require treatment
Other complications are less common but may require treatment. These include:
Inflammation. This is usually mild but may cause swelling, warmth and discomfort around the injection site. Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce the inflammation.
Blood clot. A lump of clotted blood may form in a treated vein that may require drainage. Rarely, a blood clot may travel to a deeper vein in your leg (deep vein thrombosis).
Deep vein thrombosis carries a risk of pulmonary embolism (a very rare complication of sclerotherapy), an emergency situation where the clot travels from your leg to your lungs and blocks a vital artery. Seek immediate medical care if you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain or dizziness, or you cough up blood.
Air bubbles. Tiny air bubbles may rise in your bloodstream. These don't always cause symptoms, but if they do, symptoms include visual disturbances, headaches, fainting and nausea. These symptoms generally go away, but call your doctor if you experience problems with limb movement or sensation after the procedure.
Allergic reaction. It's possible that you may have an allergic reaction to the solution used for treatment, but this is uncommon.
What is the recovery time?
The recovery time required after sclerotherapy is generally very quick. You’ll be encouraged to walk around soon after your sclerotherapy treatment. You will most likely be able to get back to your regular activities on the same day. You’ll need to wear compression stockings or bandages for about two weeks.
What should you avoid after treatment?
It’s wise to avoid strenuous exercise as well as sun exposure on the treated area for two weeks after your procedure.
You can walk shortly after your procedure, as it is recommended that you do so. However, your doctor may recommend waiting a couple of weeks before doing any strenuous exercise.
Can I take a shower after treatment?
You can remove your compressions after 2 days and can take a shower after that. Your shower should be on the cooler side.
How long does it take for veins to disappear after treatment?
Small veins will usually disappear more quickly than larger ones. Thread veins will disappear in around 3 - 6 weeks, and larger veins will respond in about 3 - 4 months.
If your veins respond to treatment, they won’t reappear. Veins that are treated will disappear, but you may develop new veins over time. But if existing veins respond to treatment, they won’t grow back.