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Sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for eliminating unsightly varicose veins and spider veins. The procedure consists of injecting a solution directly into the vein to irritate the walls causing it to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute to healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into the local tissue and eventually fades.

As with all other procedures, there are associated risks, but these are minimal in the hands of a trained dermatologic surgeon. The most common are the following:

* bruising

*raised red areas

*small skin sores

*darkened skin in the form of lines or spots

*multiple tiny red blood vessels

More severe complications rarely occur, including inflammation, blood clots, allergic reaction to treatment solution and side effects caused by tiny air bubbles in the bloodstream, including nausea, headache, coughing and visual disturbances.

After the procedure, patients are encourage to stand up and walk immediately to prevent formation of blood clots and maximize treatment results. Graduated compression stockings are worn over the treatment area for 1-3 weeks to maintain pressure over the veins.

Most people can return to their normal activity immediately after the procedure, but sun avoidance is encourage over the treatment area.

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