Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure in which a liquid or foam substance is injected into spider, reticular, or small varicose veins to cause them to collapse.
During a sclerotherapy procedure, Dr. Gardner will inject a sterile chemical solution into the affected vein using a very fine needle. The solution is designed to irritate the inside lining of the vein, which causes the walls of the vein to swell and stick together. Ultimately, the veins collapse and are reabsorbed by the body.
The number of treatments you will need will be determined by your physician, who will consider the number, size, and location/depth of the veins that need to be treated. Some patients may desire to have additional treatments but should wait 4-6 weeks to see the full results of the original treatment before scheduling follow-up procedures. Unfortunately, sclerotherapy is not suitable for treating large varicose veins.
When performed by a qualified vein specialist, sclerotherapy is a safe and quick outpatient procedure that produces beautiful results. Because the needle used for the procedure is so tiny, patients generally feel little discomfort during the procedure, though they may feel some itching or burning for a few hours afterward.
Side effects include minimal bruising and swelling for a few days afterwards. Some patients may experience pigment skin changes around the treated veins that will typically fade over time. Any discomfort can be easily managed by over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers. Walking immediately after the procedure and in the following days will help to promote circulation. Your doctor may also recommend you wear compression stockings for a short period to speed the healing process.