Sclerotherapy, or injection therapy, is a non-surgical procedure in which a solution is injected into the problematic varicose or spider veins in order to cause its disappearance. Sclerotherapy is done in the office using small needles. A variety of solutions are used to do sclerotherapy. At The Richmond Vein Center, we do not use saline as it is too painful and may cause damage to the skin. The dosage is usually adjusted based on the size of the veins. Most patients find the treatment to have little or no pain. No surgical incisions are made and anesthesia is not necessary. When a problem vein is closed off via sclerotherapy, the blood will re-route through the normal veins and flow much more efficiently.
Sclerotherapy works by irritating the lining of the vein such that the vein seals shut. Treatment takes about 20-30 minutes and can be used to treat spider veins and varicose veins. Patients usually wear a compression stocking for a short period after treatment. Most people need a few treatments to obtain the best results. Treatments are generally done in monthly intervals.
Although complications may occur with any medical treatment, sclerotherapy has an good safety record. You should always discuss the risks and treatment alternatives with your physician.
Your doctor may ask you not to use cream or lotion on your legs on the day of treatment. No other special preparation is needed before this therapy. During your first session, your doctor may perform a few injections to test your response to the chemical. Based on your response, the amount of the chemical may be adjusted. You may then have multiple sessions for different parts of the leg. Many veins can be treated in one session. In most cases, there is little or no pain during treatment, though you may feel a slight burning or stinging sensation.
Compression stockings and bandages should be worn as directed by your doctor. You may immediately return to normal activities following your procedure. However, hot environments, such as hot baths and saunas should be avoided. Walking is encouraged. Some bruising may be noticed following the procedure, but this is usually not severe.
Treatment results may be seen within a few days, but it may take up to 12 weeks for treated veins to be completely reabsorbed by the body and disappear.