What is sclerotherpay?
Therapy of spider veins and varicose veins.
How are unwanted blood vessels on the legs treated?
The injection method, a procedure called sclerotherapy, is used to treat unwanted blood vessels. One of several kinds of solutions called sclerosing solution is injected with a very fine needle directly into the blood vessel. Over a period of weeks, the vessel turns into scar tissue that is absorbed, eventually becoming barely noticeable or invisible.
Can more than one vessel be treated in a single session?
In any one treatment session a number of vessels can be injected.
Are there side effects?
- Red, raised areas similar to hives may appear at the sites of injection - these should disappear within a day or so.
- Brown lines or spots on the skin at the sites of treated blood vessels - these in most cases disappear within six months to a year but in a small percent of patients they may last longer.
- Development of groups of fine red blood vessels near the sites of injection of larger vessels, especially on the thighs - most disappear by themselves, some go away with additional injection treatments or laser therapy.
How many treatments are necessary?
A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, some weeks or months apart, depending on its size.
How successful is sclerotherapy?
After several treatments, most patients can expect a 50 to 90 percent improvement. However, fading is gradual, usually over months. Disappearance of spider veins is usually achieved, but similar veins may appear in the same general area.
Will treated veins recur?
Spider veins may recur. It may seem that a previously injected vessel has recurred, when, in fact, a new spider vein has appeared in the same area.
Is sclerotherapy covered by insurance?
Insurance rarely covers treatment of spider veins but may sometimes cover large vein treatment. If the treatment is solely for cosmetic reasons, it may not be coverd.
What to expect after the procedure:
Patients should wear a medical grade hose that is prescribed by the doctor for up to two weeks to promote destruction of the blood vessels.