Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient.
What to expect during your initial consultation
During your initial consultation we will ask you a few questions and examine your legs. We’ll ask about any problems you may have with your legs for example pain, aching, itching, and tenderness.
We will then be checked for signs of any deep vein problems, which may be indicated by swelling, skin discoloration, or sores. We may recommend a diagnostic ultrasound exam of your legs to detect abnormal veins hidden beneath your skin to totally eliminate any traces of spider veins. Any problems with the larger, hidden veins must be treated first or the procedure will not work.
The best candidates for treatment
Women of all ages are good candidates for visual sclerotherapy. Some are seen in teens while some are seen in women over the age of 35. Although spider veins are less seen in men treatment is just as effective. It is safe for most women and men with circulatory problems, heart conditions, or diabetes to undergo visual sclerotherapy treatment.