Sclerotherapy: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

The doctor injected a special chemical (sclerosant) into a vein. This chemical damaged and scarred the inside lining of the vein. This caused the vein to close.

After sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins or spider veins, your recovery will be short. You should be able to walk right away. But avoid strenuous activity until your doctor says it's okay.

You may wear compression bandages or 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?


  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Try to do low-impact exercise each day. This includes walking and bicycle riding.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay.
  • Do not stand or sit for long periods.


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. Your doctor will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.

Other instructions

  • Wear compression bandages or stockings if your doctor recommends it. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear them.
  • You may shower after 48 hours after the procedure. Don't swim or take a bath until your doctor tells you it is okay.
  • Avoid exposing your legs to the sun for at least 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 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 now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You get open sores on your legs where the chemical was injected.
  • You have symptoms of a blood clot in your leg (called deep vein thrombosis), such as:
    • Pain in the calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Swelling in the leg or groin.
    • A color change on the leg or groin. The skin may be reddish or purplish, depending on your usual skin color.
  • 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 if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.