Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic medical procedure used to treat varicose and spider veins. Our office uses Asclera, an FDA-approved solution for the treatment of spider veins. A tiny needle is used to inject Asclera directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the body will absorb the treated vein. Mild discomfort may occur, and a cramping sensation may be felt for 1 to 2 minutes when larger veins are injected. The number of veins injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient’s overall medical condition. Anywhere from one to several sclerotherapy sessions may be needed for any vein region.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure that will be tweaked for every individual based on the number, size, and location of the veins that are being treated. In most cases, there is usually one injection for every inch of spider vein. As each injection takes place, the surgeon will place light pressure on the injection site with a cotton ball and ointment.
Sclerotherapy is performed in an accredited surgical facility. No anesthesia is required for this procedure but you should only experience minimal discomfort. Recovery following vein treatment through sclerotherapy does not require any downtime or absence from the workplace.
Most individuals can resume normal activities within 24 hours. Medically prescribed support hose and/or bandages may need to be worn for several days to several weeks to assist in resolution of the veins. In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months.
My visit was with Amy for sclerotherapy. She was very professional and friendly. I made sure I scheduled with her again in 5 weeks.S. / SmileReminder / Mar 19, 2014
Best sclerotherapy session yet. No swelling!”R. / SmileReminder / Apr 18, 2014
Is sclerotherapy covered by insurance?
No, sclerotherapy is considered a cosmetic treatment and is not covered by insurance or medicare.
How much does sclerotherapy cost?
The typical cost for sclerotherapy is $300 per treatment session. There will be an additional charge for medical grade compression stockings which we will custom measure you for in office on the day of your first appointment.
What About Complications?
Complications occur in less than 1% of patients. The most common complication is having a small dark mark or bruise at the injection site for a while. For most patients, these marks fade very quickly, usually within two to three weeks. Some patients develop very tiny veins as a result of sclerotherapy. For most patients, these fade quickly and for others very gentle conservative treatment with laser is necessary. Rarely, hyperpigmentation can occur following sclerotherapy. This may be the result of some leakage of blood through the vessel wall at the time of sclerotherapy. Most hyperpigmentation will subside over time. Allergies to sotradecol are rare, but can occur.
Does sclerotherapy hurt?
Most patients find the treatment slightly uncomfortable but much less so than they had imagined.
How much time in between sclerotherapy sessions?
We usually leave 1 month in between sessions to allow time for healing.
Why do I wear compression stockings after a sclerotherapy session?
Compression stockings are used to keep pressure on the area to produce a better result and to increase comfort for the patient. You need to wear these the day of treatment and overnight that night (without removing them). You will then wear them during the day for the next 4 days (total of 5 days). You can remove them at night before going to bed and prior to showering.
How Will My Legs Look?
You will be wearing special dressings and compression stockings. It is a good idea to wear pants or a long skirt for your appointment. It is best if the pants are not too tight or stretchy as the pressure bandages will make your legs look lumpy. The veins do tend to go slightly darker in color before they disappear due to the color of the blood inside the vein as it closes.
How Involved Is The Treatment?
Each session typically lasts 30 minutes. Both legs can be treated in one session. Of course, some patients have so many veins that we cannot get to each and every vein in one session.
Are Other Methods Available?
Veinwave – veinwave can be used in along with with sclerotherapy for veins that are smaller in diameter.
Lasers – lasers are not yet at a stage where they are helpful in the treatment of larger leg veins. Lasers are best used for treating abnormal blood vessels on the face, new matting or very fine red surface veins.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
People differ in the extent of their problem and therefore in the amount of treatment needed. The number of treatments is typically between 3-6 treatments.
Will The Veins Come Back?
Treated veins can sometimes recur. Touch-up treatments will minimize this. The more treatments you have, the better the results will be.
How Effective Is It?
After several treatments (3-6) most patients can expect a 70-90% improvement in the appearance of their legs. Initially, your legs may look worse because of bruising and blood entrapment. The improvement may be very gradual, with some vessels taking up to 2 months to show maximum benefit. Treatments are usually performed monthly, sometimes more regularly.