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What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the most popular procedure for spider veins, and patients experience excellent results after a series of simple treatments in our vein specialty practice.

During the sclerotherapy procedure, a sclerosing solution is injected into the problem veins. This solution causes an irritation to the inner lining of the vein, ultimately causing it to collapse. Over time, the treated vein fades and is absorbed then fades away enough to not be seen. But just how does the sclerotherapy procedure work?

Walking is the best exercise

How Sclerotherapy Works?

  • The doctor injects a chemical solution (Sclerosant) into the affected veins
  • The solution works to damage the cells lining the walls of the blood vessels, irritates the internal lining of the vein causing them to shrink
  • These vessels gradually turn into fibrous tissue which then disappear over a period of two to four weeks
  • It is usually performed in multiple sessions with at least 3 weeks intervals
  • Usually clearance of up to 90% of spider veins is possible
Walking is the best exercise

Before & After Sclerotherapy Treatment

Before & After Sclerotherapy Procedure
Things you have to do before procedure
Before Procedure
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not apply creams or lotions to your leg before treatment
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing such as long pants, shorts, or skirt to accommodate bandage after treatment
  • Let us know if you are taking oral contraceptive pills
Things you have to do after procedure
After Procedure
  • Maintain your normal level of activity
  • Walk at least 30 minutes daily to promote healing and limit risk of complications
  • Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least two weeks
  • Do not sit or stand for long periods of time for the first week
  • Avoid hot baths, or excessive sun exposure for the first week
Compression Stockings
  • Keep the bandage under the stockings for 3-5 days (according to doctor instructions)
  • Wear the compression stockings during the day only till removal of bandage
  • Remove all cotton balls and adhesive tapes after removal of compression bandage
  • You may have some pain, redness and bruising after the procedure which usually clears spontaneously within 10 days
  • You can take shower freely after removing bandage
Prescribed medications for pain will be provided if needed
You may take simple over the counter analgesics for pain and to ease inflammation
Schedule A Follow Up Visit
Follow Up
  • Schedule your follow-up visit within 2-3 weeks after session
  • Bruising and redness is normal. The discomfort goes away in a few weeks but should not inhibit your normal activities.
  • Make sure you are taking your prescribed medications including pain killers
When To Call Your Doctor
  • Pain not relieved by rest and/or pain medications
  • Fever greater than 38 degrees celsius
  • Difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Uncontrolled bleeding from the insertion site
We know you have some questions and concerns, We Have The Answers

In general, the sclerotherapy procedure is an excellent choice as long as you aren’t pregnant or have a history of blood clots in the treatment area. Most vein specialists prefer sclerotherapy for spider veins over laser treatments, particularly on the legs. Sometimes your doctor may advise sclerotherapy and laser for your spider veins with feeder veins, a technique called clacs.

A sclerotherapy procedure isn’t recommended if you have certain health conditions that may affect how the vein will respond to the sclerosing agent. If you have cardiovascular disease or had a heart bypass surgery, you aren’t a good candidate for treatment. This is especially true if you’re seeking treatment for spider veins, which is mostly a cosmetic concern. If you are pregnant or have a history of blood clots in the area, you also aren’t a good candidate for a sclerotherapy procedure. Furthermore, most vein specialists don’t use sclerotherapy for varicose veins very often, so if you have bulging varicose veins, you’re likely have a number of other treatments recommended to you.

Sclerotherapy is considered safe for most patients. During your initial consultation, we will go over your medical history and examine your veins to determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment. This will include going over your medications, health conditions you’re currently being treated for, and any allergies you have. For most healthy patients, sclerotherapy is safe with only mild, short-term side-effects.

The drug usually is not painful but you may feel some minor pin pricks. A topical numbing agent is rarely required and is not necessary. If you are allergic to topical anesthesia, you can still receive sclerotherapy without numbing with minor pin pricks felt.

If you’ve ever seen the video above, or similar ones circulating social media, you’re likely excited at the prospect of spider veins vanishing right before your eyes. However, these videos are very misleading. We tell our patients to expect full results within three to six weeks. Slightly larger veins can take several months, and many patients require more than one treatment.

After your sclerotherapy procedure, the treated veins do not return. However, we will also discuss with you lifestyle changes to help you prevent new spider veins and varicose veins from forming.

In ivein clinics, only vein specialists can perform a sclerotherapy procedure. Our practice is also a training facility, so our providers are not only experienced in treating patients, we teach others how to as well.

All medical treatments carry a certain degree of risks. However, side effects following a sclerotherapy procedure are generally very mild and well tolerated.

One of the great things about a sclerotherapy procedure is that it carries no downtime. You will be able to immediately return to your regular routine. We even encourage you to continue your normal fitness routine, as it will help speed along recovery.

The success rate of sclerotherapy remains steady at approximately 60 to 80 percent. In the 20 to 40 percent of cases where treatment doesn’t show full results after a single treatment, the sclerotherapy procedure can be repeated to improve your results.

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