What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a popular method for eliminating unsightly veins and superficial telangiectasias (“spider veins”) in which a clear solution (called a “sclerosing agent”) is injected into the veins. This solution causes the inner wall (or lumen) of the blood vessel to become sticky and swollen, shutting it down. With the treated vein closed, local circulation is improved.
Does sclerotherapy work for everyone?
The majority of those who undergo sclerotherapy will observe mild or moderate improvement of the problematic veins after the first treatment. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that scleropathy will be effective in every case. Approximately 10% of patients who undergo sclerotherapy have poor to fair results. In rare instances, the patient’s condition may become worse after sclerotherapy treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient, depending on the extent of veins present, any previous treatments obtained, or general health of the patient. One to six treatments could be needed – the average being two or three.
After your treatment
What are the risks of treatment?
The most common side effects include itching, pain, bruising, temporary pigmentation, and new blood vessels (3 mm or less) and are predominantly cosmetic in nature. Clinically, many patients experience a resolution of generalized leg discomfort after sclerotherapy, possibly related to improved circulation. Aesthetically, patients often enjoy a generalized improvement in the appearance of their legs.
What are the possible complications if sclerotherapy is not perfomed?
The sclerotherapy treatment performed in our office is restricted to smaller caliber vessels (3 mm or less) and is predominantly cosmetic in nature. Clinically, many patients experience a resolution of generalized leg discomfort after sclerotherapy, possibly related to improved circulation. Aesthetically, patients often enjoy a generalized improvement in the appearance of their legs.
Are there other types types of procedures to treat unsightly veins and telangiectasias?
Because telangiectatic leg veins are not life threatening conditions, treatment is considered cosmetic. When patients experience ankle swelling, leg pain, heaviness and cramping, a consultation with a vascular specialist is recommended. He/she may suggest the use of graduated support stockings, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy or endovenous laser surgery.