What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that helps to treat spider veins by injecting chemicals, known as sclerosing agents, directly into the affected vein. The damaged vein is reabsorbed and eventually fades, resulting in a vein-free appearance.

How does it work?

The first stage of the procedure involves cleaning the skin around the targeted veins; then with a fine needle, injecting the chemical solution directly into it. The chemical solution causes the walls of the injected vein to shut, thereby redirecting the blood to unaffected veins. Over time, our body will reabsorb the damaged vein, making it less visible or eliminating it.

What chemical solution is used?

We use hypertonic saline solution. We prefer this solution over more dangerous chemicals because of its low risks and great effects.

Who performs this procedure?

It should only be performed by qualified medical professionals. At Contemporary Health Center, Dr. Bloy or a Nurse Practitioner, all trained and experienced, perform sclerotherapy.

What are the results?

Sclerotherapy is an effective technique to eliminate or collapse veins. Studies have indicated that as many as 50%-75% of injected veins may be eliminated with each session.

When will I see results?

Results become visible during the 1-3 weeks after each treatment. It can take a little longer for the vessels to be absorbed and clear in those with diseases or states of health that affect circulation, healing, and immune response.

How long will the results last?

Sclerotherapy permanently destroys the treated veins. Individuals with spider veins from pregnancy may not develop new spider veins until much later as they age, if ever. Others may be prone to developing spider veins and may continue to produce new spider veins over time, in the same area or in different areas. Newly developed spider veins can be treated as they arise, keeping the legs clear and looking their best!

How many treatments do I need?

One treatment to the veins may achieved the desired result. Many times, 2 treatments to the veins, spaced 1 month apart, are needed to successfully treat the veins.

How long does a treatment take?

Each session of sclerotherapy takes between 5-20 minutes depending on the size and number of veins being treated. During a session, as many veins are treated as possible in 20 minutes. If there are numerous veins that cannot all be treated in the 20 minute session, purchase of additional session/s may be necessary, but can be combined in same office visit.

Is Sclerotherapy painful?

Sclerotherapy is mildly uncomfortable, as it requires injections. Some discomfort may be felt at the site during each injection, but this lasts only seconds. There is usually not any discomfort following treatment.

What are the possible side effects?

Sclerotherapy is a relatively safe procedure with very few complications. However, some temporary, mild side effects may occur at the injection sites. These include:

  • Bruising
  • Raised red areas
  • Small skin sores
  • Inflammation – Usually mild swelling
  • Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots • Multiple tiny red blood vessels.

These side effects usually fade during healing within weeks.
Rare serious complications that may arise include: Skin ulceration – If the solution goes into the surrounding tissues it can cause a small ulcer of the skin. This may take several weeks to heal and could leave a scar.

Pigmentation changes at the injection site in those prone to hyperpigmentation. This may fade over time or be lasting.

What is the aftercare?

Following the treatment avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 48 hours. It is also best to avoid:

  • Hot baths
  • Whirlpools or saunas
  • Sun exposure

What is the recovery?

There is no downtown required; people who have had the procedure are strongly advised to walk and remain active after the treatment. It is helpful but not required to wear compression socks for up to 3 weeks to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Is it suitable for everyone?

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is not advised during pregnancy or breast feeding.
It should also be avoided if you:
are allergic to any of the ingredients, are taking the contraceptive pill, have a local skin infection, have a serious heart condition including heart disease or weak valves which require surgery, have an uncontrolled disease e.g. diabetes, are unable to walk.

How much does it cost?

The average cost for sclerotherapy varies by the size and number of veins being treated, how many sessions are needed to cover all of the veins needing treatment and how many treatments are needed to achieve the desired result. 2-3 sessions are most commonly needed. Each 20 minute session cost is $400. 3 sessions cost is $900