First developed in the 1920s, sclerotherapy has withstood the test of time and proven to be an effective treatment for various vein conditions such as spider veins. Sclerotherapy is the most popular form of spider form removal because of its ability to effectively remove spider veins over the course of multiple treatments. In certain cases, it can also be used in conjunction with other spider vein removal treatments, such as cutaneous laser treatment or Veinwave ™.
How Sclerotherapy Works
In this rather quick and simple procedure, a solution called sclerosant (specifically, FDA-approved Polidocanol) is directly injected into a vein with an ultra-fine needle. The sclerosant makes blood vessels shrink instantaneously and causes the spider veins to collapse. The blood flow is then absorbed by healthier blood vessels. Shortly thereafter, the vessel becomes scar tissue and fades away. There can be multiple veins that are treated depending on the size and location of the veins and takes only 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
- It is a minimally invasive, in-office treatment.
- Patients can immediately resume routine activities, but avoiding excessive exposure to the sun for a few days after treatment is recommended.
- There is minimal, if any, discomfort experienced by the patient.
- It is a safe and time-tested procedure.
What to Expect After Treatment
After your sclerotherapy treatment, you can expect temporary redness, bruising and itchiness, all of which will go away on its own within one to two weeks. You will see the injected spider veins become darker in color for up to three weeks after treatment, but this is a good sign. This means the spider vein was properly treated, and is a part of the natural healing process as it gradually fades away. We tell our patients that the injected spider veins “will always look worse before they look better”.
With this procedure using a very fine needle to insert the medication into each spider vein, it will not be possible to eliminate all of these veins in just one sitting. For this reason, sclerotherapy will always require more than one treatment to recieve the desired results, with treatments at least two weeks apart. Some spider veins are stubborn, and may require a second round of treatment in that area to fully remove those veins. We recommend at least 3 to 5 sclerotherapy treatments for full elimination.