Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure performed by a board-certified dermatologist. It is used to treat varicose and spider veins in the legs. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to close when compression is applied.
Many patients who have varicose veins or spider veins in their legs are candidates. Prior to treatment, you will have an initial consultation with your dermatologist and an ultrasound scan to determine if sclerotherapy is the right treatment for you.
The eligibility of those patients who have a medical history of blood clotting will be determined on an individual basis. Sclerotherapy is not a treatment path for those who are currently pregnant.
The sclerosing solution of your dermatologist’s choice is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. For larger vessels, the solution may be mixed with air to form a foam. Compression, in the form of wraps and stockings, is applied to help the irritated walls of the treated vein stick together. The procedure itself takes approximately twenty minutes.
Side effects of sclerotherapy treatments includes some minor swelling in the legs in addition to itching, which can last for one to two days. Bruising can also occur around the injection site.
Sclerotherapy is a great option for treating small to medium-sized leg veins. Anywhere from 50-70% of injected veins may be eliminated in one session, although it takes up to two months before the final results are seen. Treatments hold no guarantee for 100% success, and multiple treatments are almost always necessary. Our physicians prescribe compression stockings for the first 3-7 days after treatment to maximize results.
Once a vein is closed from sclerotherapy, it dissolves and will not reappear. However, new varicose veins eventually will form, requiring maintenance treatment from time to time. Most treated patients will develop new varicose veins more slowly than they would if they had not had sclerotherapy.