Types of Injection Sclerotherapy
Liquid sclerotherapy is the primary treatment for small to medium-sized varicose and spider veins. During the procedure, a medicated solution is injected directly into the vein, causing damage to the internal lining of the vein. Blood flow to the vein shuts down, and over time, the vein will collapse, making it "fade away" or become less visible.
For the treatment of large varicose veins, a gaseous combination of medicated solution and air (foam) is injected into the vein. This process causes damage and scarring to the lining of the varicose vein, and it becomes blocked or shuts down. Blood flow is then naturally redirected to other blood vessels, and the treated vein collapses. Once fully closed, the vein becomes less visible, and related discomfort improves.
Sometimes injection sclerotherapy treatment is aided by the use of ultrasound imaging, especially for deeper varicose veins not visible at the surface of the skin. Ultrasound imagery helps the physician create a diagnostic map of the blood vessels to identify abnormal veins. Ultrasound mapping is then used throughout the procedure to guide the injection of a medicated solution to shut down the varicose veins.
In recent years, vascular specialists have combined the benefits of traditional sclerotherapy injections with medical-grade lasers to improve treatment of spider veins. Both procedures are non-invasive, with minimal discomfort and no downtime. First, the affected veins are injected with a medicated solution to disrupt blood flow. Targeted medical lasers are then used on the injection site to seal the vein further, painlessly eliminating the appearance of spider veins.
Candidate for Injection Sclerotherapy?
Injection sclerotherapy is recommended for adults with varicose or spider veins who are generally in good health, with no history of blood clots or active blood clots. This procedure is not recommended for those who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or nursing. It may also be contraindicated for men and women with limited mobility.
Patients with the following conditions may benefit from injection sclerotherapy:
- Varicose veins, usually on the legs
- Spider veins or small varicose veins
- A history of varicose vein stripping
Consultations for varicose and spider veins are available at all Plastic Surgery Center locations. The best surgical plan for you will depend on various personal and medical factors. With this in mind, our highly-skilled vascular and plastic surgeons will review your medical history and discuss your ideal outcomes to develop a custom treatment plan.
about this procedure?
What to Expect
Before your sclerotherapy injection, the physician may order an ultrasound to determine the exact location of affected blood vessels and the best surgical plan. The treatment area will be cleaned with an antiseptic cleanser, and a local or topical anesthetic may be used to numb the injection site.
The physician will inject a liquid solution or foam directly into the blood vessel based on the size of the treated vein. You may feel a pinch from the needle or mild burning during the injection. The procedure typically lasts 45 minutes or less, and multiple veins can be treated during one session.
There is typically minimal discomfort or recovery time following sclerotherapy injections.
Often, the only sensation felt is during the injection of local anesthesia. Following the procedure, you may feel some tenderness, tingling, itching, or tightness in the treated leg and some moderate bruising, which should disappear within a month.
You can expect to leave the office and drive yourself home following sclerotherapy injections. Walking and most normal activities can be resumed on the day of your procedure, though hot baths or saunas/whirlpools should be avoided for 2-3 days. Your physician will likely recommend using compression stockings for up to a week, and you should avoid medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen for 48 hours.
The highly-skilled plastic and vascular surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Center have helped thousands of patients with varicose and spider veins using the most advanced, minimally invasive procedures. We pride ourselves in a highly personalized approach and surgical outcomes that exceed expectations.
Jonathan WeiswasserMD, FACS
Financing & Insurance
Because varicose veins can cause pain and disability, your insurance provider may cover evaluation and treatment. Spider veins, however, are typically considered a cosmetic issue and may not be covered by insurance. If you want to learn more about estimated costs and coverage, don't hesitate to contact our dedicated support staff at 833-615-2621.
During your consultation, our expert surgeons will listen and work with you to fully understand the look you wish to achieve.
We will review and explain all of your cosmetic options and identify which procedure is right for you.
Our friendly and compassionate staff and physicians will guide you through the entire process, answer all of your questions and alleviate any concerns.
No More Hiding
Take the first step toward freedom from unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins. Contact us today to learn more about our minimally-invasive vein treatments.