About Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy Patient Information

What is sclerotherapy? Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment used to eliminate small to medium size varicose veins and “spider” veins. “Spider” veins are superficial telangiectasias, tiny vessels that are red, blue or purple in color. The majority of these veins present as a cosmetic problem.body

How does sclerotherapy work? A very small needle is used to inject a sclerosing solution into a varicose or “spider” vein. Different solutions are used depending on the type of vein. Different strengths of the solutions are used based on the size of the vessel. Once injected, the cells that line the vein wall (endothelium) will become irritated, inflamed and damaged. External compression is applied using support hose and, sometimes, cotton balls with tape. The compression causes the vein walls to seal together and the vein no longer can transport blood. Your body then breaks down and absorbs the damaged vein. When healing is complete the vein is no longer visible. Reducing or eliminating varicose veins can improve your circulation and symptoms of heaviness, aching, and fatigue. Please notify us on your first visit if you have any history of migraines and/or patent foramen oval.

How many treatments are needed? The number of treatments needed varies from patient to patient depending on the type, size, and quantity of veins to be treated. Varicose veins and “spider” veins most always require more than one injection session. Subsequent treatments are usually scheduled every 6-8 weeks to allow time for the body to respond to the treatment. It takes time for your body to respond to the injections. On average, patients experience about a 40% improvement after each session. It is important to follow the post-treatment instructions to optimize your results. Your body will continue to heal and “fade” injection sites for months after treatment.

What to expect: Photographs will be taken before treatment is initiated. This helps to monitor your progress. Your legs will look worse before they look better. After the vein is damaged the body needs time to heal. Most people will notice a dramatic improvement approximately four weeks after their initial treatment. Maximal improvement often takes several months and several treatments. There is no guarantee sclerotherapy will be effective in every case. Some veins and areas will need to be retreated. Recurrence of the same vein treated rarely occurs with proper injection technique and compliance with post treatment instructions. Periodic re-evaluations are encouraged so that any new veins that develop can be injected before they become too large or too numerous.