Treating leg veins with sclerotherapy
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a highly successful treatment of spider and varicose veins. During the procedure, a sclerosing solution is injected into the vein through a very fine needle. A flushing of the vein occurs and then over a 4-6 week period the vein gradually disappears.
Are there any side effects?
Sclerotherapy has been amazingly free of side effects. There is a very low incidence of hyper-pigmentation of the skin at the site of the injection or at the site of the vein being treated. This pigmentation usually disappears over a period of time. Occasionally a small skin ulcer can appear at the sits of injection; however, this also will resolve over a period of time. It is possible to experience slight brusing at the sites of the injections.
Will sclerotherapy work for my veins?
Most spider veins and varicose veins do respond to sclerotherapy. Complete correction of the treated area is not expected on the first treatment. In most cases, about 50-70% of treated vessels will respond over a period of three to four treatments. However, new veins may appear and additional treatments may be necessary to achieve optimal results. Most patients experience 60-80% overall improvement in the appearance of the veins.
Will my insurance pay for sclerotherapy treatments?
The cost of sclerotherapy depends on the number of treatments required. Since almost all insurances consider the treatment of superficial veins to be a cosmetic procedure, it will most likely not be covered by your insurance.
Are there other vein treatments available?
Yes. There are some lasers that are used to treat veins that are resistant to sclerotherapy. There is also a new surgical procedure called “ambulatory phlebectomy” that is used to treat larger, bulging varicose veins. Spider and varicose veins are rarely life threatening and therefore no treatment is also an option.
Is there any down-time?
This procedure is performed in the office, and generally takes between 15-45 minutes to perform. Normal activities can be resumed immediately, (we do suggest however that you refrain from vigorous activities for the first 24 hours). Usually bruising will appear around the treated areas and will disappear within the first week. We strongly suggest the use of medical grade support stockings for a few weeks following the treatment. The stockings can significantly reduce the bruising and may even reduce the number of treatments.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments vary greatly with the severity of the spider veins. The average case usually requires 3 treatments, at 4-6 week intervals.