Sclerotherapy treats veins not visible to the naked eye, veins that make too many twists and turns for standard endovenous ablation procedures. It also helps with spider vein removal.
Sclerotherapy is an office-based procedure that takes around 30 minutes to perform. You will be awake during the procedure. Problem veins are located using ultrasound. A tiny needle is inserted into the vein and sclerosing solution is injected.
Following the procedure you will wear a compression stocking for a short time. You can continue most normal activities immediately. We like you to keep active as part of the treatment.
Sclerotherapy can help:
- Spider Veins – Spider veins are those thin, red, blue or purple surface veins you see on the surface of your legs, thighs and ankles. Sometimes, they are even found on the face.
- Varicose Veins – Varicose veins are larger, bluish or purple veins that have a gnarled or knotted appearance on the skin surface. These enlarged veins can cause burning, aching or throbbing in the legs.
What to expect/ how long will it take?
Prior to the procedure, the doctor will review your mapping ultrasound to identify veins that will be treated. The doctor will then use the ultrasound probe on your leg to find the veins. Under direct guidance and visualization with ultrasound, a tiny needle is advanced into the vein. A foam solution is then injected into the vein while the doctor watches with ultrasound. The solution displaces the blood in the veins and causes the veins to contract and collapse. These veins will close down and eventually will no longer be visible. The time for sclerotherapy will vary based on the number of veins that need to be treated. Sometimes treatment only takes a few minutes, and is usually less that 30 minutes. Sclerotherapy is often performed at the same time as phlebectomy.
Most varicose veins will be eliminated with one injection. If there are veins that do not close after the first injection, or veins that develop after other veins have been treated, these can usually be treated with another injection.
Risks/ Side Effects
Sclerotherapy is considered a very safe therapy for your veins. With a well trained and experienced physician, the patient is exposed to minimal risk. Women can develop varicose veins during pregnancy, but sclerotherapy is not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. There are a few risks associated with this procedure, including:
- Skin discoloration
- Itching, blistering, and pain may occur in the area
- Blood clots or damage to the deep vein system
Is it Painful?
No pain to very minimal soreness.
Anesthesia isn’t necessary for sclerotherapy. People who receive this medical procedure generally are all done in one-hour maximum. The entire process takes only 30 to 45 minutes. Once your procedure is done and you’re ready to leave, you will be able to drive and continue with typical, moderate day-to-day activities. You will be required to wear support hosiery after the procedure to compress the treated veins. Generally, patients can return to normal activities. Minor discomfort from the procedure can be relieved with acetaminophen.
Covered by Insurance?
Insurance almost always pays for sclerotherapy.