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Home » Medical » Sclerotherapy

Non-surgical vein treatment.

Sclerotherapy is a form of treatment where a doctor injects medicine into blood vessels or lymph vessels that causes them to shrink. It is commonly used to treat varicose veins or so-called spider veins. The procedure is non-surgical, requiring only an injection.

Sclerotherapy is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive vein treatment used to eliminate ugly spider and varicose veins in the legs. Abnormal veins are treated with a laser or injected with a concentrated solution using a small needle resulting in only mild discomfort. All procedures cause unsightly veins to gradually shrink and fade. Dr. Laura Garvey at The Vein Center at MetroDerm offers several treatment options for eligible patients to effectively get rid of spider and varicose veins permanently.

Types of Sclerotherapy

  • Sclerosing injections: Eligible patients are given multiple sclerosing injections (dilute sclerosant) that shrink and dissolve spider veins over a period of time by closing the “feeder veins.” Most patients require up to two treatment sessions separated by several weeks to significantly improve the appearance of leg veins and prevent recurrence on a treated area. A compression stocking or bandage must be worn up to two weeks after each treatment and patients are encouraged to walk daily to help speed the healing process.
  • Microfoam sclerosing with ultrasound guidance: Patients with large spider and varicose veins (including the great and small saphenous veins) can greatly benefit from the microfoam sclerosing procedure. During the procedure, ultrasound is used to visualize underlying veins so Dr. Garvey can deliver the injections using a pair of syringes or medical pumps – one with sclerosant (sodium tetradecyl sulfate or polidocanol), and the other with gas (carbon dioxide) thus creating a foam. This process increases the surface area of the drug and is ideal for longer and larger veins.
  • Laser sclerotherapy is a completely non-invasive procedure where pulses of light direct energy into leg veins causing the blood within to coagulate and change to a solid or semisolid state. The vein eventually breaks up and is reabsorbed back into the body where blood flow is then redirected to deeper veins below the surface of the skin. Although no compression stockings are needed after laser treatment, a slightly raised, red reaction in the treated area is normal and typically resolves in one to two days. Patients should protect treated areas from direct sunlight, extreme heat, and avoid high impact exercise. Dr. Laura Garvey recommends one to two treatments for visible results in as soon as two-to-six weeks after treatment.

Aftercare & Recovery

Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia (topical numbing) which allows patients to leave following treatment. Compression garments must be worn for one to three weeks (not applicable for laser procedures) and are designed for long-term wear. After two weeks, a follow-up visit is required so that Dr. Garvey can monitor the recovery process and check for complications. Complications, while rare, include allergic reactions to the sclerotherapy agent, hyperpigmentation, and redness around the treatment area. If any of these symptoms are present prior to a follow-up visit, patients are encouraged to contact Dr. Garvey at The Vein Center immediately.

Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.