What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment that is used for both varicose veins and spider veins; it is the most common treatment for these types of venous issues. In this treatment, a chemical solution is injected by a fine needle into the veins. The solution causes the walls of the vein to become irritated, shrink and close off. Most people are not allergic to the solution.
The vein will gradually disappear as it is absorbed by the body over the course of several weeks to months. The veins stop carrying blood, which is why they become less visible. In this treatment, the entire vein and the underlying skin veins are treated. This treatment lasts about 15 minutes.
This treatment is most effective on small surface veins 1 to 2 mm in diameter or less. Multiple sessions may be required for those with many problem veins. On average, about 2 to 5 treatments are usually needed for the veins to clear up. With this procedure, your varicose veins or spider veins will either be gone or be drastically less visible. Patients still may develop new varicose or spider veins and will need additional treatments. Many patients return on a yearly basis for a “touch up.”
Since the needle is extremely fine, people do not experience any pain from the injection. Following the treatment, patients may experience minor itching and burning, but it will only last 10 to 15 minutes at most. Patients leave the office pain free.
Risks associated with this treatment are rare, but they can occur. Such risks can include: blood clots in the veins, allergic reactions to the solution, severe inflammation, and skin injuries.
Following the procedure, normal, daily activities can be resumed immediately following the procedure. Patients may experience some minor skin discoloration around the treatment area, but this will go away within 6 to 12 weeks. Patients will be advised to avoid direct sunlight and/or tanning beds for 2 weeks after the treatment.