Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical, injection-based therapy that improves the appearance of varicose veins in the legs. The procedure involves the injection of a solution into spider veins (smaller, red-purple in color), and reticular veins (larger, blue-green), causing disruption to the internal lining of the vein. A very fine needle is used to inject the sclerosing solution into the vein with only very minimal discomfort. Most of our patients tend to describe the discomfort as mildly “annoying” rather than painful.
The sclerotherapy solution works by forming a fibrous clot, with the vein eventually being eliminated through the body’s own healing process. This procedure also helps prevent the reoccurrence or reappearance of spider veins by treating the nearby “feeder” veins.
During your initial consultation, your legs will be examined thoroughly. While many patients present with uncomplicated leg veins, occasionally patients may be referred to a specialist, known as a phlebologist for a complete evaluation, including an ultrasound exam. The sclerotherapy treatment usually takes approximately 30 minutes. This is followed by placement of compression dressings if needed. In some cases, support stockings are recommended for up to one week after each treatment.
It is normal for the treated area to look worse before improvement is seen. Support stockings are used to reduce cosmetic downtime, improve healing times, and prevent recurrence of small vessels after treatment. After your initial sclerotherapy treatment, the treated veins will fade in appearance within a few weeks, but often it may take up to a month to see full results. Multiple treatments are usually required to achieve the desired outcome. Treatments are spaced 6 weeks or more apart to allow complete resolution of the veins treated during the previous session.
The sclerotherapy procedure is performed by Jennifer Fick, FNP-C, CANS, a Board Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist. You can read more about Jennifer here or on her own website. Dr. Deschamps-Braly is on hand to consult in more complex cases if necessary.