Sclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins and smaller varicose veins removal. Veins are injected with a sterile chemical sclerant, which irritates the vessel’s lining, making it become inflamed, hardened, and eventually fade away completely. Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are tiny veins that constantly look dilated. These can be seen in the legs, dark or lighter shades of blue, purple, or red.
How is the procedure performed?
The treatment area will be sterilized, then the dermatologist will begin injecting the sclerosant into first the larger veins, then smaller ones, monitoring the progress of the chemical throughout the process. For every inch of vein treated, one injection will likely be administered. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia. The injection process typically is complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. A minor stinging or burning sensation is common during and right after the injections are made, but is short lived. After the treatment is finished, a bandage will be applied and most physicians recommend the use of compression or support hose for at least a few days.
What happens after sclerotherapy treatment?
The patient will be asked to use surgical stockings for a certain period of time to be discussed in the clinic during a consultation. Any discomfort can be easily managed with over the counter pain medications and is alleviated by the use of compression bandages or hose. Some mild bruising, itching, and swelling at the injection site are normal, but otherwise, side effects are uncommon and short in duration.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. These follow up treatments should be spaced at least two to four weeks apart so that the effects of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated before injecting more. Patients can determine the number of treatments they may need and the cost associated with them by discussing their situation with the dermatologist.
How long is each sclerotherapy session?
The injection portion of each session takes on average only 15 to 30 minutes to complete, though this can vary depending on the size and extent of the treatment area.
Can anyone undergo sclerotherapy?
Nearly everyone with unsightly spider veins is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, individuals with skin infections, uncontrolled diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis, and those who are taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids should not have sclerotherapy. If you are unsure of your candidacy, consult the dermatologist for consultation and further evaluation.
Is there any preparation required before sclerotherapy?
There is no formal regimen for the preparation of sclerotherapy, although doctors will recommend that patients stop taking aspirin and smoking during the few days before the treatment.
For smaller spider veins, Skin House Beauty and Laser Clinics offers treatment using GentleMax Pro which uses 1064 nm long pulsed ND:Yag to effectively lessen if not eliminate spider veins.