20 - 30 Minutes
Based on Consultation
Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to eliminate spider and varicose veins. It consists of multiple injections of a sterile solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to become inflamed, harden, and eventually over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades away completely.
Why do Spider and Varicose Veins Form?
Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.
Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries.
It is quick and convenient
No need to stay in the hospital
It is inexpensive with far less pain and downtime than traditional surgical methods
How is the procedure performed?
The treatment area is sterilized, the certified injector or Physician will begin injecting the solution into first the larger veins, then smaller ones, monitoring the progress of the chemical throughout the process. For every inch of vein treated, one injection will likely be administered. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia. The injection process typically is complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. A minor stinging or burning sensation is common during and right after the injections are made, but is short lived. After the treatment is finished, a bandage will be applied.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. These follow up treatments should be spaced at least four weeks apart so that the effects of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated before injecting more.
What are the recovery steps?
There is essentially no recovery period associated with sclerotherapy for varicose veins. You can immediately walk afterward though you shouldn’t plan on any vigorous physical activities or exercise. Just take it easy for a few days, and avoid sun exposure to the area for some time. You’ll likely want to wear compression stockings for a period of time to ensure regular pressure is maintained surrounding the treated veins.