What is a Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a procedure designed to improve the appearance of your legs by treating damaged and broken veins (varicose, reticular and/or spider). This treatment involves injections of a solution called a sclerosant. The purpose of a sclerosant is to damage the vein walls. This will cause the blood to clot within the treated veins, ultimately stimulating the body to break down the damaged veins. Sclerotherapy usually involves multiple injections of approximately 8cc’s of solution per one hour session. After receiving the injections, a prescription-strength compression stocking will be applied to the treated leg(s).

The same vein may need to be treated more than once. Treatments are usually done every 4 to 6 weeks. You will have to wear gradient compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help with healing and decrease swelling. This treatment is very effective when done correctly.

There is a type of sclerotherapy called ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (or echo-sclerotherapy). This type of sclerotherapy uses ultrasound imaging to guide the needle. It can be useful in treating veins that cannot be seen on the skin’s surface. It may be used after surgery or endovenous techniques if the varicose veins return. This procedure is done in your doctor’s office. Possible side effects include skin sores, swelling, injection into an artery by mistake, or deep vein thrombosis (a potentially dangerous blood clot).

Possible side effects include:

  • Stinging, red and raised patches of skin, or bruises where the injection was made. These usually go away shortly after treatment.
  • Spots, brown lines, or groups of fine red blood vessels around the treated vein. These also usually go away shortly after treatment.
  • Lumps of blood that get trapped in vein and cause inflammation. This is not dangerous. You can relieve swelling by applying heat and taking aspirin. Your doctor can drain the trapped blood with a small pinprick at a follow-up visit.