Sclerotherapy is a medical treatment used for making spider veins, varicose veins and teleangectasia less noticeable. During a typical sclerotherapy session the Doctor injects a solution inside the abnormal or unwanted veins with the purpose of reducing their appearance. Veins fade and become less noticeable after 3 or more treatments spaced 3-6 weeks apart. Before sclerotherapy, an accurate history and physical exam are obtained to rule out contraindications and set realistic expectations. Injections are usually very well tolerated, as we use the finest needles. The liquid solution might be injected as a foam (foam sclerotherapy), depending on the case.
VEINS WILL FADE OVER TIME, NOT IMMEDIATELY
We use Asclera (Polidocanol), which is the most effective and safe FDA-approved sclerotherapy agent on the market. The medication comes in sterile, single-use vials in the 0.5 and 1% concentrations. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is generally performed with lower concentrations and volumes due to the smaller diameter of the veins.
AT LEAST 3 SESSIONS OR MORE ARE NECESSARY TO REMAIN SAFE AND TO OBTAIN VISIBLE RESULTS
Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. It is injected into veins to cause a reaction, which causes varicose veins to shrink. It is like an inflammatory reaction that obliterates and closes the vein. You need a few sessions spaced a few weeks apart to make it work. We do not expect them to disappear after only one session, and they actually might look worse right after. It is important to remember how the process works to appreciate the results.
One session is not enough; in order to be successful, you have to repeat the process several times over a few weeks (3 or more). Again, we don't expect immediate results after each treatment, and it might take several weeks for the veins to fade. Veins are injected at standard doses and concentrations, but each patient's body is different, so the results vary.
It takes 15 to 45 minutes for a sclerotherapy session. Once the drug is injected into the veins, a compression stocking or bandage is applied to the treated leg. Since the needles are so small, it is not too painful, but sometimes the compression and occasional bruising can be troublesome.
This technique works well for smaller varicose veins and telangiectasias, especially in the mid-term. It's possible to get small bruises at the injection sites if blood extravasates under the skin. It usually takes two to three weeks for these spots to go away. Let your doctor know if you're allergic to sclerotherapy.
Venous disease doesn't have a definitive cure, so sclerotherapy aims to eliminate what's visible, not treat it definitively. Eventually, patients need "tweaks" or new sessions which, in most cases, keep the problem at bay. In about 2/3 of patients treated with the procedure, varicose veins recur after 3-7 years. This might mean repeating the treatment or trying something else.
Despite being generally safe, there are some risks, including blood clots and allergic reactions. Sclerotherapy can't be done on people with certain drug allergies, patients with recent phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis, and pregnant women. Patients who have trouble walking and take certain medications are more likely to get phlebitis.
Call 212-457-1491 if you would like to schedule a consultation.
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