What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat spider veins. A solution is injected with a very fine needle directly into the blood vessel. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over a period of weeks, the vessel eventually becomes barely noticeable or invisible.
What will I experience during and after the procedure?
You may experience a cramping sensation for one to two minutes when larger varicose veins are injected. After the treatment you will be instructed to wear support hosiery or wraps to "compress" the treated vessels. You may experience certain side effects after sclerotherapy. Larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and/or hard for several months before resolving. Raised red areas may appear at the injection sites and should disappear within a few days. Brown lines or spots on the skin may be seen at the injection sites. In most cases, they disappear within three to six months, but can be permanent about five percent of the time. Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks. In general, spider veins respond to sclerotherapy in three to six weeks, and larger veins respond in three to four months.
If the veins respond to the treatment, they will not reappear. However, new veins may appear over time, and if needed, you may return for additional injections.
Can sclerotherapy be used to treat large varicose veins?
Unfortunately, sclerotherapy is generally used for the very small superficial veins next to the skin. Sclerotherapy is not effective for large veins and requires large amounts of the sclerosants with the potential to be absorbed. When large veins are treated with sclerotherapy, a stronger solution and a higher volume is required. Following the treatment for larger veins, compression hose stockings are usually recommended to be worn for at least 2 weeks. It is best to get spider veins treated in the winter months as one can easily wear stockings.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
It varies from individual to individual but typically 2-4 treatments are required for the best results. In patients with milder cases, 1-2 will suffice. The treatments are more when there are more veins or slightly larger veins.
Individual Results May Vary