Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein that causes it to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.
Sclerotherapy may be considered the treatment of choice for spider leg veins. The treatment is minimally invasive. The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as aching, swelling, burning and night cramps. Treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take up to two months to see the full results. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be needed. What you should know about sclerotherapy for spider veins.
The procedure is typically performed in the doctor’s office. It does not require anesthesia and usually takes 15 minutes to an hour to complete depending on the extent of the veins. Patients lie on their back with their legs slightly elevated. After the treatment area is cleansed with alcohol, the doctor uses a fine needle to slowly insert a solution or foam into the vein. Some patients experience minor stinging or cramps when the needle is inserted. The injection solution or foam irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to swell shut and block the flow of blood.
Once the needle is withdrawn, the doctor will apply compression and massage the area to keep blood out of the injected vessel and disperse the solution. For large veins, a compression pad may be taped onto the site to keep the area compressed while your doctor moves on to the next vein. The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins being treated.
As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:
More severe complications rarely occur, including inflammation, blod clots, allergic, reaction to treatment solutions and side effects caused by tiny air bubbles in the bloodstream, including nausea, headaches, coughing and visual disturbances.