Sclerotherapy: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

After sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins, your recovery will be short. You should be able to walk right away, but plan to take it easy for a day or two.

You will probably need to wear compression stockings after the procedure. These will help keep pressure on the veins so the blood doesn't return when you stand up. Your doctor will tell you how long you need to wear the stockings.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay.

Medicine

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.

Other instructions

  • You may have a dressing over the cut (incision). Your doctor will tell you how to take care of this.
  • You may shower 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Pat the incision dry. Don't swim or take a bath for 2 days, or until your doctor tells you it is okay.
  • Avoid exposing your legs to the sun for the first 2 weeks after the procedure.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You get open sores on your legs where the chemical was injected.
  • You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
  • You have problems with your vision or balance.
  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area of injection.
    • Pus draining from the area of injection.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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