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As with any type of medical procedure there are sclerotherapy risk and benefits. Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure performed to reduce the appearance of spider veins in the lower extremities. Approximately fifty to seventy percent of all adult women suffer from spider veins (medically termed telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities). Men develop spider veins to a lesser degree and they are usually covered up by leg hair. Male patients can benefit from sclerotherapy, though female patients mostly seek it.
In addition to being visually unappealing, blue, red and purple spider veins in the legs can also cause aching, burning, swelling, and night cramps. There are many causes of spider veins including genetics, aging, pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain, and some medications. Sclerotherapy is a procedure where a sclerosing agent is injected into the desired area causing the troublesome spider veins to collapse and fade from view. The effects of sclerotherapy are permanent though the treatment is not able to prevent new veins from becoming visible. More than one treatment is usually necessary in order to achieve the desired results.
Sclerotherapy risk factors pose a greater risk in patients with a history of certain health conditions. Sclerotherapy risk factors are increased for patients who are pregnant or nursing, and experts advise these women not to seek sclerotherapy. People with a history of blood borne conditions including AIDS and hepatitis are also prone to elevated sclerotherapy risk factors, and therefore may also not be good candidates for this procedure. Patients with circulation problems, heart conditions, or diabetes may also face increased sclerotherapy risk factors, and may not be good candidates for this type of procedure.
There are also sclerotherapy risk factors associated with the procedure itself, though they are very rare. Sclerotherapy involves making a series of injections under the skin. It is common for patients to experience some degree of cramping or minor discomfort following the surgery. The rare, but more serious sclerotherapy risk factors include blood clots, inflammation, allergic reaction to the injected fluid, pigmentation irregularities, the development of finer red vein visibility, and a minor skin injury, which can lead to scarring.
These sclerotherapy risk factors are very rare and can be greatly mitigated by a competent surgeon who takes all precautions to ensure patient safety. Adherence to all after care instructions can greatly reduce the sclerotherapy risk factors for a patient as well. Overall, a sclerotherapy cosmetic procedure is a safe and simple way to eliminate the appearance of spider veins in the lower extremities.
If you would like to get more information about sclerotherapy to eliminate spider veins, you may wish to contact a cosmetic surgeon who can help determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure. Please contact us to consult with a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon about sclerotherapy.