Sclerotherapy uses ultrasound guidance to inject a medication into veins, causing the vein to scar and close permanently. This procedure is routinely used at IVC and patients want to know how this procedure compares to endovenous thermal ablation (EVTA) as far as pain caused during the procedure and recovery time after the procedure.
The sclerotherapy procedure often involves multiple injections along the course of the the problematic veins. These injections utilize a very small needle so most patients tolerate the procedure very well. Patients often ask if a local numbing agent could be used to anesthetize the area before the injection of the sclerosing agent. This technique is not used as this would require two needle sticks, one needle stick to inject a numbing agent and another needle stick to inject the sclerosing agent. In general most patients tolerate the sclerotherapy procedure well and do not need any anesthetic agent. Though most patients find both EVTA and sclerotherapy very tolerable, patients often find sclerotherapy the easiest of the procedures we perform.
Post-procedure pain is usually localized to the area where the vein was injected. This pain is not nearly as intense as the pain following the EVTA but will be noticeable for longer. In fact it may take several weeks for the veins to be resolved by the body. During this time you may experience tenderness from these areas. A mild pain reliever like ibuprofen helps but really the biggest factor is giving the body time to resolve the treated veins.