Sclerotherapy is a technique that has been around for decades to treat spider veins and in some instances, small and medium-sized varicose veins. This procedure involves the injection of a sclerosing solution directly into the small veins. As the solution comes into contact with the blood vessel, it produces a localized irritation of the blood vessel causing the vein to close off so that blood can no longer pass through. Although these veins carry blood, they are not a necessary component of normal circulation and therefore can be safely treated and removed.
Who can benefit from Sclerotherapy?
Spider veins are a common cosmetic problem that occurs in both men and women. Hereditary factors, pregnancy, hormones and injury are the primary contributing factors in their development. Almost anyone who has small to medium sized unwanted veins would benefit from this treatment.
Is there “downtime” with Sclerotherapy?
These procedures cause minimal discomfort and patients may return to their normal activities immediately with the exception of pounding exercises and/or weightlifting which should be avoided for at least 48 hours following the treatment. Common side effects include mild bruising immediately after the treatment and a transient brown discoloration of the treated area for several weeks following the procedure. For these reasons, the fall and winter months are good times to treat leg veins.
What should a patient expect from Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy will not always provide instant gratification; it may take 2-4 weeks to appreciate the full results from each treatment. While any one vein may completely resolve with a single treatment, most patients require 2-3 treatments to achieve a satisfactory result and in rare instances some veins may not respond. Patients prone to these veins will continue to make new ones throughout their lifetime requiring additional treatments to maintain the results.