How to Do Self Sclerotherapy
There are fewer conditions more disfiguring than varicose veins. The unsightly, tortuous bluish snakes have led many to hide their legs with pants or jeans. For some, however, there is hope in the miraculous abilities of sclerotherapy, a procedure that injects a solution into a vein, irritating the vessel wall and causing it to form scar tissue. This minor procedure can be completed in a doctor's office. Once bandaged, a participant is sent home immediately.
How to Do Sclerotherapy
Wash your hands and arms with liquid soap, dry them with paper towels, and then put on a surgical gown and gloves.
Sterilize the leg by cleaning it with a disinfectant, such as alcohol or iodine, and place a sterile drape on the leg so that only the varicose vein is seen.
Using one syringe but separate needles for each vial, draw the sodium chloride, lidocaine, and heparin.
Stabilize the vein with your thumb to prevent movement.
Inject the syringe contents into the vein by first pulling back on the syringe to ensure venous placement, then injecting all of its contents.
Pull out the needle and apply pressure to the puncture site with cotton wool.
Repeat as necessary for every inch of vein length.
Apply a compression bandage to the area and leave in place for three to four days.
If you suffer from an iodine allergy, use alcohol instead. Instead of a compression bandage, support hose can be used. If there is pain after the procedure, Tylenol or paracetamol may be administered.
Keep the surgical area and all items sterile to reduce infection risk. Determine beforehand an iodine or lidocaine allergy or any other existing condition that may be affected by lidocaine. Mild discomfort, allergic reactions, bruising, itching, ulceration, swelling or cramping may occur. Do not partake in any exercise, hot baths, saunas, or direct sunlight exposure for two to 10 days after the procedure. Do not take any aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories for at least 48 hours after the procedure.
Judith Miller earned a bachelor's degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She is a certified professional coder and surgical assistant.