Sclerotherapy is the procedure used to treat unwanted small vessels, called spider veins, usually found on the legs and thighs. A solution is injected into the vein using a very small needle. This sclerosing substance causes the vein to turn white and gradually disappear. Multiple veins can be injected during one appointment. If the affected area is extensive, an individual may wish to complete treatment in multiple sessions. Although laser treatments for spider veins are being used in some cases, the consensus of many experts is that Sclerotherapy is the most effective treatment available.
Varicose veins are larger and in some cases can be treated successfully with Sclerotherapy. However, depending on the size and condition of the vein(s) individuals with varicose veins may be referred to a vascular surgeon for treatment. Spider veins on the face (facial capillaries) are not treated with Sclerotherapy, but respond very well to BBL™ PhotoFacial treatments.
Response to Sclerotherapy is very positive, with most patients achieving a 50-90% correction of spider veins. It is important to emphasize that complete disappearance of the vessels is gradual. In some cases, veins may reappear, or a new vein may occur in the same area. A spider vein may be reinjected after a period of time. In some instances, "matting" occurs on the skin after injection of veins. This can be treated with BBL™ PhotoFacial technology.
The possibility of reversible side effects includes:
- Stinging or pain at the site of injection, usually subsiding in 10-15 minutes after treatment
- Bruises at the injection point
- Inflammation of traeted vessels is very unusual
- Lumps in injected veins, particularly larger ones
- Brown pigment lines (iron storing) which remaing for as long as 6 months
- Superficial ulcerations due to vessel breakdown are rare
Your physician will outline post procedure care, depending on the scope of the condition and treatment. In general, support hose are worn for a period of time to create compression of the treated vessels and to reduce the possibility of recurrence. Walking after the procedure is advised.