Sclerotherapy as a means of vein treatment has been around for a while – both for spider veins and smaller varicose veins.
If you have a phobia about needles be prepared – sclerotherapy involves the injection of a liquid agent into the spider vein using a microscopic needle.
The liquid agent is usually something like saline solution or an anesthetic or surfactant like sodium tetradecyl.
Many vein clinics nowadays also offer foam sclerotherapy where the agent is mixed with foam producing better overall results with less brown staining.
The effect of the sclerotherapy injection is to irritate the lining of the spider vein and cause blood clots to form and the spider vein to collapse. After sclerotherapy treatment blood no longer leaks into the treated spider veins and the body will slowly remove them.
Although sclerotherapy is a good option for treating spider it generally works best on larger veins – smaller veins will need to be located with ultrasound equipment or a vein viewer and some may be too fine for treatment. Sclerotherapy for varicose veins is also offered by many clinics as a varicose vein treatment.
Sclerotherapy can be a mildly painful procedure especially if saline or salt solution is used. There may be stinging or painful cramps at the site of the injection. If you have a fear of needles or injections the mere thought of it may worry you – but you need to remember that the needle being used here is tiny.
Just like laser therapy, this procedure is best performed by a trained physician and the skill of the doctor will make all the difference to your level of discomfort and the success of the outcome. Your first step should be to find a good vein treatment center local to where you live to get the specialist treatment you need.
The number of sessions required will vary depending on the depth and coverage of the spider veins but each session is likely to be longer than for laser therapy unless you have only a very few spider veins.
In the course of each session, the doctor has to find and inject every single spider vein and so a typical session could last up to one hour where there are many present.
You will need to wear special compression stockings for anything up to ten days after each sclerotherapy session. You’ll be able to resume normal life pretty well immediately but you may be told to avoid exercise, hot baths and alcohol for two to three days afterwards.
There are some side effects with sclerotherapy and these can include:
* temporary red raised patches of skin at the site of the injection
* temporary small sores where the injection was made
* temporary bruising around the site of the injection
* spots, brown lines or groups of red blood vessels around the treated vein that usually disappear
* inflammation or blood clotting in the treated vein which is treatable with an anti inflammatory like aspirin and is not dangerous
Remember though that most women don’t experience any side effects and their sclerotherapy treatment is largely completely trouble free. To lessen the risk of blood clots and brown pigmentation from sclerotherapy you can opt for foam sclerotherapy treatment.
Sclerotherapy sessions will be spread over anything up to a year and you may require from two to six depending on the extent of your spider veins. Some spider veins may need to be treated several times before they are eliminated.
Most women are very happy with the treatment – their spider veins are destroyed and don’t come back. And for most of us – whatever the discomfort – that makes sclerotherapy a great choice.