What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for spider veins. The sclerotherapy spider vein removal procedure involves strategically injecting a sclerosant medicine into the unwanted spider veins. The sclerosant medicine fuses the spider veins’ walls, turning them into hardened scar tissues eventually absorbed by the body. The spider veins darken days after the procedure, but they eventually fade away from the skin’s surface. The procedure concludes within 30 minutes, and most patients only need 1 or 2 sessions.
What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?
- Non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment — only involves a few injections.
- Mostly painless and comfortable, especially when performed by skilled vein doctors.
- Minimal post-treatment side effects, such as redness, swelling, and bruising.
- Negligible risk of long-term complications or harsh side effects.
- Only one injection is necessary per spider vein.
- Dramatic results visible after one sclerotherapy spider vein removal session.
- No downtime — you can resume your daily activities and work immediately.
- Ideal treatment for spider veins and small varicose veins on the skin’s surface.
- Negligible rate of recurrence, especially when performed by skilled vein doctors.
- Can be done during your lunch break, so there’s no need to take a day off.
- Supported and backed by decades of clinical evidence.
How does sclerotherapy treat spider veins?
Spider veins are dense clusters of blood vessels and broken capillaries on legs. They appear on the skin’s surface just underneath the epidermis, usually because of underlying chronic venous insufficiency. Sclerotherapy involves using sclerosant medicines to destroy unhealthy spider veins. A sclerosant is a medicine that inflames and fuses the spider veins’ walls, turning them into hardened scar tissues. Over time, the body metabolizes the spider veins, and the accumulated blood reroutes into healthier leg veins.
What to expect during sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is performed as a simple, in-office treatment that concludes within 30 minutes. The vein doctor performs an ultrasound scan to visualize the location of the spider veins. The vein doctor may administer local or topical anesthesia for optimal comfort, but anesthesia isn’t essential. The vein specialist carefully delivers the chosen sclerosant medicine into the spider veins — one injection per vein. For the deeper spider veins, the vein doctor may use vascular imaging to guide the treatment.
What are the side effects of sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy involves minimal post-treatment side effects. You may experience mild redness, swelling, discomfort, itching, irritation, and bruising around the treatment sites for a few days. The unwanted spider veins may initially darken because they become scar tissues in the days after the treatment. However, after a week or two, the scar tissues will get metabolized by the body, and the spider veins will fade away from the skin’s surface. The side effects usually dissipate within a few days.
How many sclerotherapy sessions do I need?
The number of sclerotherapy sessions depends on the number of spider veins on your legs. The vein doctor must use one injection per spider vein, so the total number of injections depends on the number of spider veins. If you have a lot of densely packed spider veins, the vein doctor might split up the treatment between two sessions for optimal comfort. Your vein doctor will inform you about the number of sclerotherapy sessions necessary after a thorough evaluation of your legs.
What are the limitations of sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is one of the best minimally invasive procedures for spider veins and small varicose veins. However, as is true for all procedures, sclerotherapy spider vein removal also has some limitations. It’s not suitable for everyone. Below, we highlight three situations wherein sclerotherapy might not be advisable — and how those situations are overcome.
Can’t treat spider veins on face and feet
Sclerotherapy isn’t suitable for the treatment of spider veins on the face and feet. The hands and feet are regions with dense artery-vein connections, and injecting sclerosant into arteries can be risky. That’s why most vein doctors avoid performing sclerotherapy on the face or feet. If you have spider veins on the face or feet, you may undergo non-invasive laser therapy. Laser therapy involves channeling laser energy into the unhealthy spider veins to make them shrink.
Can’t treat large varicose veins
Sclerotherapy can’t treat large varicose veins because the amount of sclerosant medicine necessary to treat large veins would be risky. The vein doctor can only use a small volume of sclerosant medications in one session. However, foam therapy for varicose veins is a suitable alternative. The vein doctor can mix the sclerosant medicine with air to turn it into a foamy mixture that can cover more area, making it suitable for treating varicose veins.
Can’t treat chronic venous insufficiency
Sclerotherapy can’t treat chronic venous insufficiency, the root cause of most vein problems. If you’re diagnosed with vein disease, the vein doctor may perform other minimally invasive procedures, such as radiofrequency ablation and venaseal, before sclerotherapy. In that case, the primary vein treatment will address the root cause of your spider veins, and sclerotherapy will remove spider veins. However, if you opt for sclerotherapy without addressing the underlying vein disease, there’s a strong chance that the spider veins will return.
Contact the right vein doctors for sclerotherapy spider vein removal in Long Island
Long Island Vein Center is led by some of the most reliable board-certified vein doctors in Long Island. Our vein doctors always diagnose and treat the root cause of spider veins using the latest and safest minimally invasive procedures. If you have spider veins, please schedule an appointment with our talented vein doctors in Long Island.