What is Sclerotherapy?

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical solution into a varicose vein, which causes the vein walls to collapse, stick together, and seal shut. Sclerotherapy is a proven approach to treating spider veins and varicose veins. It uses a chemical solution, called a sclerosant, to collapse diseased veins and redirect blood flow to healthier ones.

Sclerotherapy is a Safe and Effective Solution to Problem Veins

Sclerotherapy is a Safe and Effective Solution to Problem Veins

The valves in our veins are responsible for keeping blood flowing in one direction – towards the heart. When our valves become weak or damaged, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there, causing them to become enlarged and bulge above the surface of the skin. Not only are these varicose veins unsightly, but they can also pose serious health risks like blood clots and ulcers.

Sclerotherapy has been used to treat varicose veins for nearly a century. It involves injecting a liquid or foam solution directly into a problem vein, causing it to collapse and forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. Within a few weeks, the collapsed vein is reabsorbed into the body and fades from view. In some instances, several sclerotherapy treatments may be required to achieve desired results.

Sclerotherapy is a Safe and Effective Solution to Problem Veins

Why Choose Sclerotherapy?

Those suffering from venous insufficiency have several treatment options for destroying damaged veins and restoring healthy blood flow. Sclerotherapy is often the best choice for those who have superficial spider veins on the legs and hands, as it’s typically less expensive and more effective than laser treatments. Sclerotherapy is also less painful than surface laser therapy, making it a good option for patients with a low pain threshold.

Sclerotherapy is often performed for cosmetic purposes, but it can also improve uncomfortable symptoms related to venous insufficiency including aching, swelling, burning, and night cramps.

In addition to treating spider veins, sclerotherapy can be used to target large varicose veins. At San Diego Varicose Vein Treatment Center, we use ultrasound technology to find the precise location of diseased veins to ensure the entire vein is treated, even if it’s not visible from the surface of the skin. Though laser therapy is often more effective at targeting these large varicose veins, sclerotherapy may be a better solution for some patients. At your consultation, Dr. Taghizadeh will develop a treatment plan that suits your individual needs and comfort level.


How Do I Prepare And What Can I Expect?

Before your sclerotherapy treatment, Dr. Taghizadeh will perform a physical exam and review your medical history to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. You may need to temporarily stop taking certain medications and dietary supplements in the days before. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best results.

Avoid shaving or applying lotion to your legs 24 hours prior to sclerotherapy, and wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. The entire procedure takes less than an hour to complete and does not require anesthesia. Some patients experience a slight pinch or stinging sensation as the needle is inserted into the targeted vein, but general discomfort is minimal. You’ll be up and moving soon after the procedure and may return to normal activities the same day.

Sclerotherapy FAQ

When can I expect to see results?

If you were treated for spider veins or small varicose veins, you can expect to see results in three to six weeks. Large varicose veins may require three to four months to fade from view.

Will I need more than one sclerotherapy treatment?

Dr. Taghizadeh will schedule a follow-up appointment about a month after your treatment to gauge the procedure’s success and decide whether further sessions are needed to achieve the best results. If further treatment is required, you’ll need to wait six weeks before undergoing another session.

Once my varicose veins are treated, can they come back?

Veins that respond to sclerotherapy generally do not come back. However, new varicose veins may appear over time.

What can I expect after sclerotherapy in terms of recovery and downtime?

There is no downtime following sclerotherapy. In fact, we encourage patients to walk and move their legs immediately after treatment to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Is it necessary to wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy?

Yes. Properly fitting compression stockings should be worn 24 hours a day for at least the first week following sclerotherapy. Compression stockings keep the treated vessels compressed and help them heal shut. Failing to wear compression garments increases the likelihood that your varicose veins will return and that you’ll develop pigmentation at the treatment site.

Is itching following sclerotherapy a sign of an allergic reaction?

Itching along the vein route is a common side effect of sclerotherapy and typically subsides in 1-2 days. If you experience itching beyond the injection area in the rest of your body, this might be a sign of an allergic reaction. In the rare instance this happens, please contact Dr. Taghizadeh.

Is sclerotherapy safe during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, its recommended to postpone sclerotherapy for the safety of the baby. Additionally, many women experience an improvement in their spider veins and varicose veins following delivery, making treatment simpler.

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