Sclerotherapy is the most effective treatment used to eliminate spider veins, reticular veins, and their symptoms. Treatment takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, is minimally invasive, and requires no anesthesia.
Visual Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. A solution or sclerosing agent is injected into the vein to cause it to collapse and disappear. We do NOT use sodium chloride as a sclerosing agent as it has been long documented for causing severe pain upon injection, as well as potential serious complications. Treated spider veins usually disappear in three to six weeks. Some larger veins take longer. Up to 80% of the spider veins treated will disappear with each treatment. It must be determined if there are varicose veins associated with your spider veins. If these veins are not identified and properly treated, the spider veins may reappear.
Before sclerotherapy treatments can be done, the endovascular specialist needs to determine all the factors that may be causing your condition. This includes any medications you may be taking which could aggravate the situation. It must also be determined whether there are varicose veins associated with your spider veins.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is often used to treat reticular veins and certain varicose veins depending on the vein specialist’s diagnosis.
What to Expect
Prior to Treatment
- Do not use lotion
- Avoid smoking
- Talk to your doctor about any and all medications and dietary supplements you are taking. Disclose any allergies you have or suspect you have.
Bring a pair of loose, comfortable shorts to wear during your treatment or plan to wear our disposable shorts. Dress in loose clothes and comfortable shoes to accommodate the small bandages and support stockings after your treatment.
Photographs will be taken before the procedure begins. This helps to monitor your progress.
Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia nor any complicated preparation. You will be asked to lie on your back with your legs elevated slightly. An antiseptic will be applied to the area to be treated. The surgeon will use a very fine needle to inject a sclerosant solution into the vein.
This solution irritates the vein, making it collapse. It is then reabsorbed into other tissue in the body. A bandaid or small bandage will be placed at the site of the injection and you can walk out with your treatment instructions.
A sclerotherapy treatment should last between 15-60 minutes. You should arrive 15 minutes early to allow time for check-in, sign consents, and take pre-treatment photographs. You should then allow approximately 15 minutes to apply your support hose, change clothes and check-out of the office. If you need to cancel or reschedule our appointment, please give our office at least 24 hours notice.
After the Procedure
You can walk out of the office, drive yourself home, and resume normal daily activities. You will be instructed to wear support or compression stockings. Your doctor will let you know beforehand the size and compression you will need to wear and for how long.
For at least 48 hours after treatment, you should avoid hot baths, hot showers, hot tubs, whirlpools, and saunas.
You should also avoid direct sunlight for a couple weeks after the procedure.
Walking is really good for you and recommended. It is important that you move your legs in order to get the best results after sclerotherapy treatments.
Your legs will look worse before they will get 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. The results of sclerotherapy can be variable, and often are determined by certain factors such as the patient’s healing ability.
Some veins and areas will need to be re-treated. Recurrence of the same vein rarely occurs. Proper injection technique and patient compliance with post treatment instructions ensure the best success rates. Later on, new varicose or spider veins may form requiring subsequent treatment. Periodic re-evaluations are encouraged so that any new veins that develop can be injected before they become too large or too numerous.
Subsequent treatments are usually every 2-3 weeks. Your doctor will advise you when you should return. If you notice dark knots or cords (trapped blood) at your injection sites, please call our office 862-251-7111. If you have any questions or concerns before or after your sclerotherapy treatment please contact us. Please be advised that there is no additional cost to your site re-checks. If you need to cancel or reschedule a treatment or follow-up appointment, please give our office 24 hour notice.