What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the technique in which a specific solution
is injected with a very fine needle directly into the
vein. This procedure has been used since the 1920's.
The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing
it to swell and stick together. The body in a natural
healing process then absorbs the vein over period of
weeks. This does not harm the circulation, but improves
it by eliminating the abnormal, unnecessary vessel.
How is Sclerotherapy done?
Sclerotherapy is performed in the office. After signing
a consent form authorizing the center to treat your
condition, the skin of the area to be treated is cleansed
with alcohol. A very fine needle is in inserted in the
vein, and a solution injected directly into the vessel.
At this point, you may experience mild discomfort, especially
when larger veins are injected. Pressure is applied
over the treated vein with cotton & tape. At the
end of the session, the leg is wrapped with a bandage
& compression support stocking are worn.
The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
To feel more comfortable, you should plan to wear shorts
during the session. Depending on its size, a single
blood vessel may have to be injected more than once,
some weeks apart, but in any one-treatment session a
number of vessels can be injected. The solution and
concentration used vary somewhat with the size of the
vessel to be injected. Only FDA approved medications
are used for the treatment.
How many veins are injected and how many sessions
will I need?
The number of veins injected in one session varies,
depending on the size and location of the veins, as
well as the general medical condition of the patient.
The number of sessions needed to clear all your veins
depends on how extensive and how far advanced your condition
Is Sclerotherapy painful?
Injection is performed with a very fine needle, the
size of a hair. Most people describe it as a mosquito
bite. The solutions we use for treatment are not painful
and do not cause any burning sensation as experienced
with salt (concentrated saline) injections. If you have
needle phobia or have very low threshold for pain, then
we recommend a topical anesthetic cream, applied for
45 to 90 minutes to the area to be treated.
Am I a candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Micro Sclerotherapy can be used on all skin colors.
It is best suited for spider veins and small varicose
veins. However, larger varicose veins can be safely
and effectively treated with foam compression sclerotherapy
and ultrasound guided treatment especially if the underlying
cause of varicose veins is identified and treated.
You are not eligible if you are:
limited mobility or bedridden
poor arterial circulation (Peripheral Arterial Disease)
to have blood clots (hypercoagulable state)
skin infection at the area to be treated
can have Sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills.
If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility
will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend
on the overall health of the area needed to be treated
as well as the reason for the clot.
How successful is Sclerotherapy and how soon will
I see results?
Sclerotherapy relieves symptoms due to varicose and
spider veins in most patients. With this procedure,
veins can be dealt with at an early stage, helping to
prevent further complication.
Fading of the treated vessels is gradual and a slow
process. In general, spider veins respond to treatment
in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4
months. The majority of people, 75% to 90%, who have
Sclerotherapy performed, will be cleared of their veins
or at least see significant improvement. Unfortunately,
however, approximately 10% of patients who undergo Sclerotherapy
have poor to fair results ("poor results"
means that the veins have not totally disappeared after
5 Years After
Will my veins recur?
If the veins respond to the treatment, they will not
reappear. However, this treatment does not prevent new
veins or telangiectasias from developing over the coming
years. Additional treatments are generally required
in the future for optimum and lasting results. Recurrences
may rarely occur over a period of 1 to 5 years.
Are there certain vessels which tend to recur more commonly?
Yes. They are the types of vessels, which occur in a
mat of very fine red radiating vessels. These are best
treated with a combination of Sclerotherapy & Laser
What are the side effects of Sclerotherapy?
Side effects of Sclerotherapy include: Stinging or pain,
Bruises and discoloration, brown lines or spots on the
skin (hyperpigmentation), development of small mats
of fine red blood vessels near the site of injection
(Matting), inflammation of injected blood vessels, tender
lumps in injected blood vessels particularly large ones.
Serious complication such as clots in the deep veins,
ulceration, and severe allergic reaction to medications
are extremely rare.
shall I do before the treatment?
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., arthritis medicine -
Advil, Alleve, Naprosyn) for 5-7 days before your treatment
because these medications can increase bruising. Tetracycline
or Minocin, both antibiotics, may possibly cause a staining
of the skin if taken 7 to 10 days before or after Sclerotherapy
We recommend not drinking alcoholic beverages 2 days
before and 2 days after your treatment because drinking
alcohol can impair healing.
Before your appointment, shower and wash your legs thoroughly
with an anti-bacterial soap. Do not shave your legs
the day of the appointment to avoid discomfort. Do not
apply any cream or lotion to your legs.
Bring loose fitted shorts or a leotard to wear during
a treatment. Eat a light meal or snack 1-½ hours
before your appointment.
What shall I do after the treatment?
not use Aspirin or Ibuprofen for 5-7 days after
each treatment to reduce bruising unless prescribed
to you by the office. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
can be used as needed.
Immediately after your procedure, you are required
to put on Support Stockings and walk for 10 to 30
minutes. Be sure to have loose-fitting slacks and
comfortable walking shoes with you.
Leave support stockings, brown tape (Ace Bandage
when present), White bandage, and Cotton balls for
48hs or as instructed. To take a shower, place a
plastic bag over the bandage. The longer the bandage
stays in place, the better.
support stockings thereafter during the day, remove
before going to bed.
Please notify the office if you experience any
of the following over the treated area:
Any sores (open skin)
swelling of the treated leg
itching, stinging, or burning may occur at the site
of injections. This usually lasts for short period.
If persists over few hours or symptoms are severe,
take one tablet (25mg) Benadryl, use cortisone ointment
as prescribed or call the office.
may experience pain at the site of injection especially
if the injected vein is large. The vein may be tender
to touch. This is usually temporary and lasts one
to three weeks.
swelling at the ankle may occur especially after
injecting foot or ankle veins. It usually resolves
in few days.
normal activities. Walk at least 1 hour a day -
the more, the better!
standing without moving for long periods. If you
must stay in one place, move your feet and toes
not take hot baths or sit in a whirlpool or sauna,
nor apply hot compresses or any form of heat to
the injected areas for 48 hours after treatment.
In addition, avoid direct exposure to sunlight (sun
bathing and tanning beds), jogging, high-impact
aerobics, weight lifting and swimming for 7 to 10
days after the procedure.
Showers are permitted, but the water should be cooler
than usual. The injection sites may be washed with
a mild soap and warm water. Cool your legs with
cold water after each shower
support stockings between treatments. After healing,
use them for long trips or when your legs ache.
The more you use them, the better.