Sclerotherapy is the first line of treatment for spider veins. It is not used for varicose veins. It works best for veins that are a 5-mm or greater in diameter, veins that are often purplish in color. Smaller veins, which are often red in color, may be very difficult to treat with this technique. The procedure involves injecting a special bleaching solution through a tiny needle into the vein, which gradually collapses, and the old blood is gradually absorbed by the body. Treatments involve one or more injections. Treatments take about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the difficulty of cannulating the veins. After the procedure, the veins may disappear, but it may take weeks or months for them to totally disappear as the body gradually breaks down the old blood in the veins that are no longer open. Sclerotherapy usually also relieves symptoms associated with enlarged veins and prevents further complications from occurring.For those of us with varicose veins, or other damaged and broken blood vessels, these tiny red lines can make us self-conscious about showing off our legs, face and other affected areas of the body.
These tiny blue and red lines can make us self-conscious about showing off our legs and other affected areas of the body. Sclerotherapy is currently the main first-line approach to making these unsightly blood vessels go away
How Does It Work?
OOn average one session every four to six weeks is scheduled until all veins that can be accessed have been treated. Sclerotherapy is a fairly quick procedure. Doctors use a thin syringe to inject medicine into a patient’s damaged blood vessels, which causes these veins to shrink and dissipates the trapped blood that causes redness and string-like marks, as seen in individuals with varicose veins. There are several types of sclerotherapy, but the three most popular types are: basic sclerotherapy, In the basic procedure the doctor simply injects a medicine into damaged veins, most commonly sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) and the broken blood vessels collapse as the trapped blood and redness around the veins dissipates. After all sclerotherapy therapies the treated areas is then heavily bandaged and compressed, and patients are encouraged to move around and walk regularly to help keep blood flowing in the treated area. Sclerotherapy rarely produces scarring, and it cannot prevent the recurrence of a vascular lesion in the future.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
On average, one to three sessions are required, spaced 2 – 4 weeks apart. After each session, patients may have to wear bandages or support hose for a few days or weeks and are encouraged to walk or exercise to speed recovery. The procedure is office-based. Bruising and swelling (if present) should fade within a week or two. Sclerotherapy rarely produces more severe side effects such as scarring, although it cannot prevent the recurrence of vascular lesions.