What Is Sclerotherapy?
Spider veins, also known as varicose veins, are common in both women and men, and are considered a general part of aging. They are a sign that your veins aren’t functioning properly, and it’s generally advisable to treat them to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Sclerotherapy for varicose and spider veins is one of the most common and effective treatment options right now. It’s an injectable procedure that causes a gradual fading of the treated vessels over a period of several weeks to several months. The majority of patients will see significant improvement, however, new veins may form over time and maintenance treatments may be required.
How Sclerotherapy Works
Patients begin with a consultation where Dr. Muhn or Dr. Rosen will assess the veins and recommend the number of syringes required.
A prescription will be provided for compression stockings — specialized hosiery designed to increase blood circulation and improve circulatory problems in the legs — which patients are required to wear for several weeks after their treatment. As a result, most patients elect to have treatment during the fall and winter months.
During treatment, a solution known as a sclerosing agent is injected into the vein using a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to stick together and collapse, eventually turning into scar tissue and disappearing.
A mild stinging or burning sensation may be experienced as the solution is injected. Common side effects are bruising, tenderness or firmness of treated veins, and skin pigment changes. These side effects are generally temporary and can be minimized with proper use of compression stockings.
Treatments are spaced six to eight weeks apart, with most patients requiring an average of three to four treatments. Depending on the size and location of spider veins, a combination of sclerotherapy and vascular laser treatments may be recommended.