Sclerotherapy: Side Effects and Recovery

Varicose veins are enlarged twisted veins that appear in the legs and foot due to the malfunctioning of valves in the veins. Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment performed by vascular surgeons to treat varicose veins. It is a simple non-surgical procedure, where a solution or foam is injected into the bulged varicose vein, and the vein usually fades in a week. It can be quickly performed in a clinic and not very painful, and no anaesthesia is used. If you have recently undergone therapy for varicose veins, this article will help you know about certain basic things for a proper recovery.

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What are the side effects of varicose veins?

Sclerotherapy has minimal side effect. Below are the common side effects of sclerotherapy.

● Lumpy or stiff veins can last for few months after the procedure.

● Skin allergies-bumps or rashes may appear for few days nearby the injection site.

● Contusions: Mostly appear near the treated vein and disappear in a week or few.

● Brown Line: This is due to a type of iron in the blood that leaves near the treated site. It can disappear within six months.

● Swelling or itching- appears due to an allergic reaction to the injection and may disappear quickly.

Some harmful side effects of varicose veins are:

● Sudden swelling of legs

● Blackening of legs

● Ulcer

● Non-healing wound

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How to recover quickly for sclerotherapy?

The rate of recovery varies from each individual and the body’s ability to recover, but certain things speed up the recovery process to get back to your daily work.

Start walking

After a sclerotherapy procedure, doctors recommend walking exercises to increase the blood flow to your leg and reduce the risk of blood clot formation. Typically, you may notice bruises near the treated area, but they will not be painful for a regular walk. However, your legs should rest appropriately at least for a week for a full recovery. Do not perform heavy exercises like dancing or playing sports after the treatment. A casual walk in the garden is sufficient for a good recovery.

Take good rest

Once you have performed this procedure, it is essential to give proper rest to your body for a complete recovery. Nothing helps for a quick recovery than a good sleep. Avail of medical leaves and get some sleep for natural healing and rehabilitation of the body.

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Put on the compression stockings

Compression stockings can aid the veins for good blood circulation by providing continuous support to your vascular system. It is highly recommended by varicose vein specialists for a complete recovery from sclerotherapy. It also helps to minimise side effects like bruising. These are readily available in pharmacies, or you can purchase them online. Consult your doctor to know how long you should wear them after the treatment. In some cases, a varicose vein specialist may ask you to wear it for many weeks to obtain good results and avoid side effects.

Stay protected from sunlight

There are high chances of dark spots developing near the injected site when exposed to direct sunlight. It is very much beneficial to avoid going out in direct sunlight. If you are still in the recovery process and find rashes or bruises, refrain from exposing them to direct sunlight as it may aggravate them and delay the recovery. Give good rest for a minimum of two weeks.

Take a bath regularly

It is good to be hygienic to avoid infections in the treated site. Vascular surgeons, after therapy, allow bathing one or two days later. But, be extra cautious near the injected area; do not wipe rashly with the towel, instead pat gently to dry.


Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for varicose veins. A varicose vein surgery doctor will do a simple injection procedure that disappears the bulged vein. After the treatment, it is usual to find side effects like bruising and swelling. And, for a complete recovery, rest your legs, wear compression stockings, and gently walk for a good flow of blood. If you still have any trouble in the recovery, contact an Interventional Radiologist to get imaging to find if there is any potential health issue.

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