Sclerotherapy is one of the most tried and true procedures of our profession — eliminating both spider & varicose veins & making legs beautiful again since the 1930s.
In sclerotherapy, the offending veins get an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution). This solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and gradually fade from view. It’s a quick, nearly painless and highly effective procedure.
Almost anyone of any age with visible veins on their legs is an eligible candidate for sclerotherapy. Exceptions include pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and possibly, anyone with a history of blood clots. Your veins and health will be evaluated during the consultation process to ensure sclerotherapy is right for you.
In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient. Treatments can be done every four to six weeks.
Sclerotherapy requires that you do not do any aerobic activity for a few days after the procedure. There are milder effects, such as itching, which can last for one or two days after the procedure. Also, you may experience raised, red areas at the injection site. These should disappear within a few days. Bruising may also occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks. Your doctor may recommend wearing compression or support stockings for up to 6 weeks, depending on your case.
Following the injections, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 48 hours. Tylenol may be used if needed. You should avoid the following for 48 hours after treatment:
- Hot baths
- Hot compresses
- Whirlpools or saunas
- Direct exposure to sunlight
How soon will I see results from Sclerotherapy?
In general, spider veins respond in three to six weeks, and larger veins respond in three to four months.
Is Sclerotherapy permanent?
Yes. Treated veins are gone for good. That said, the body can create new varicose and spider veins in the future, so you could repeat the treatment, if necessary.
Do I have to wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy?
If you are only treating spider veins, no. Compression stockings are recommended if you’re treating varicose veins because they help keep the veins closed after treatment and reduce bruising.