What is sclerotherapy?


As a result of pregnancy, heredity or prolonged periods on their feet, many women see small red, blue or purple spider-like veins appear just under their skin. The lines are actually enlarged capillaries and veins that are more prominent and superficial than normal. Though they are most commonly seen on the legs, they can appear almost anywhere.

Plastic surgeons can treat these vessels with a simple procedure called sclerotherapy. During an office visit, the doctor will inject the vessels with a sclerosing agent which quickly and often permanently collapses it leaving the skin looking natural.  A typical treatment takes only about 30 minutes.

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive approach to treating varicose and spider veins that involves the injection of a solution into the vein, causing it to shrink and turn to scar tissue, which the body then absorbs. Three to six treatments usually are needed, depending on the size and number of the veins. Compression bandages or stockings may need to be wrapped around the legs for two to three weeks. The treated area will look worse at first but then look much better within three to four weeks. Sedation is not necessary.
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Sclerotherapy is a common varicose vein treatment. Watch this video for an easy breakdown of the procedure by vascular surgeon Dr. Steve Elias.

Continue Learning about Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Large twisted blue or purplish veins visible at the skins surface are known as varicose veins. Any vein in your body can become varicose but it usually occurs in the legs and feet due to the pressure the lower body endures to keep ...

your body upright. It is caused by the weakening of the valves and veins in your legs. Varicose veins are usually hereditary. We are also more prone to get varicose veins as we age. Symptoms include itching, burning, throbbing or cramping in the legs and around the veins. Self-care measures such as exercising, elevating your legs, and wearing compression stockings are used to ease the pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. If these measures dont work, see your doctor to discuss medical treatments that are available to close or remove varicose veins.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.