How Sclerotherapy Works
Sclerotherapy is currently the treatment of choice for very fine spider veins (telangiectasias) and reticular veins. It is also commonly used as an additional treatment for tributaries of the saphenous vein after endovenous laser ablation, which requires ultrasound guidance. Using a tiny needle, chemicals, called sclerosants, are injected into the diseased veins, irritating the lining of the blood vessels and causing them to collapse and stick together. Over time, the blood vessels shrink down, fibrose and turn into scar tissue and eventually fade away.
In most cases, sclerotherapy sessions take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to complete, with visible improvements noticeable within 4-6 weeks.
Recovering From Sclerotherapy
We always warn patients that following treatment, their legs may look worse before they look better! Immediately after treatment, each injection area will look like a small red mosquito bite and may be slightly itchy for a few hours. The treated veins may also look bruised and the patient may experience minor cramping. This discomfort is temporary, and although rarely needed, easily treated with over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol or NSAID’s.