What is Sclerotherapy?

What is Sclerotherapy?

At Vascular Associates of WNY, we offer many vein treatments to our patients. One option to treat spider veins or reticular veins is sclerotherapy. This process does not require any major preparation, and your doctor will discuss if this is the right treatment for you.

Before beginning sclerotherapy treatment, the physician will complete an examination, sometimes using ultrasound equipment, in order to analyze the veins. The doctor will want to rule out any possible circulatory problems before beginning.

Sclerotherapy entails an injecting a solution, usually a medication or sclerosant, directly into the vein. Physicians use a very tiny needle for this procedure, which means the injections are usually painless. The solution will cause the vein to harden and disappear over time. The process takes around 30 minutes, depending on the size of the treated area. Afterwards, patients will wear a compression stocking or 48-72 hours.

For optimal results, three or four injection sessions may be necessary, depending on the veins. The doctor will speak to you about how many treatments are necessary to achieve desired results. Treatments are typically administered every two-to-six weeks.

Recovery from sclerotherapy

This process does not require major preparation. However, patients on blood thinning medications should speak with the doctor before treatment. 

After treatment, some patients experience mild itching or tenderness in the legs for a few days. At times, there may be red bumps or raised portions of the skin in the injection area. These bumps may be hard, but they will fade over the next weeks and months. 

Recovery can vary from patient to patient. Sclerotherapy irritates the blood vessel, which causes a non-dangerous blood clot. The healing process may take more or less time, depending on the individual. Once the clot is absorbed, the vein is gone. It’s important to keep in mind that the larger the vein is, the more inflammation occurs. This may mean more healing time for those patients.

Some patients see brown lines or discoloration at the injection site. This is temporary but can take time to disappear.

Patients should always avoid unnecessary skin irritation during the entire sclerotherapy treatment. While normal sun exposure is fine, we ask patients to avoid sun tanning. For this reason, many patients opt to begin sclerotherapy treatments in the colder months.

Benefits of sclerotherapy

This type of vein treatment is mainly for cosmetic purposes. Spider veins do not typically cause any health problems, but patients do not like the look of these veins in their legs. Sclerotherapy is highly effective in reducing or eliminating these veins. 

Patients also enjoy the fact that sclerotherapy is a very simple procedure that does not require hospitalization. We perform sclerotherapy in the office, and treatment times are relatively short. Furthermore, patients can resume all normal activities immediately. 

If you’re interested in learning more about sclerotherapy or you think it might be the right option for you to treat spider veins, contact our offices (716) 671-8393.

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