Sclerotherapy is considered the treatment of choice for spider veins and small varicose veins. It is a proven procedure that has been in use since the 1930s. Spider veins are are small, dilated, visible, branching veins located on the legs and thighs. Factors that increase their presence include genetics, increasing age, female gender, pregnancy, obesity and prolonged standing or sitting. Sclerotherapy is considered to be a cosmetic procedure. The average cost depends on the size and number of veins treated.
Who is a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Healthy individuals with spider veins and small varicose veins are good candidates for sclerotherapy. Pregnancy and acute clotting disease are contra-indications. A clinical evaluation will be performed to determine if you are a good candidate.
How is sclerotherapy performed?
In preparation for the procedure, the affected area is cleaned and prepped while you lay on your back with your legs slightly elevated. A sclerosing solution is directly injected into the vein with a micro-needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vein resulting in inflammation that causes the vein to collapse and scar off. Ultimately, blood flow is re-directed to healthier veins and the affected vein is reabsorbed by the body and eventually fades away. The procedure takes less than one hour and has little to no discomfort.
What to expect after sclerotherapy?
After the procedure, you will be advised to wear compression stockings for several weeks to maintain compression on the treated veins. You may return to normal activities right away but should avoid strenuous exercise for 2 weeks. Bruising and swelling may occur but typically fade after a couple of weeks. Results are usually seen about 3-6 weeks after the procedure. However, multiple treatments may be required to achieve optimal results. As with any procedure, there are associated risks. These include swelling, bruising, discoloration and deep vein thrombosis.