A common treatment for spider and varicose veins, sclerotherapy is the injection of a sclerosing agent into a vein to close it. The sclerosant causes inflammation and scarring, or hardening, of the vein, prompting it to close and shrink from sight. By sealing the vein closed, blood flows away from the defective pathway and into healthy veins.
How Does a Sclerotherapy Treatment Work?
You’ve probably heard the term “sclerosis” linked to diseases that cause pathological hardening of tissue, like multiple sclerosis. Conversely, medical sclerosants work to combat diseases, such as chronic venous insufficiency, by intentionally hardening defective blood vessels. When valves fail inside your vein, blood retreats toward your feet, rather than travelling upward, which creates the bulging varicose veins and colorful spider veins you see. Doctors use injectable sclerosing medicines to induce closure of a vein that’s impairing your circulation.
Our vein experts identify defective veins that are preventing blood from flowing efficiently back to your heart. They elevate the leg with the offending vein and inject a sclerosing agent through a tiny needle into the vessel to chemically irritate it. The vein’s walls swell which results in the clotting of blood and closure of that vein. Eventually, the vein becomes scar tissue which shrinks and fades from sight.
This quick, painless treatment is done in under 30 minutes, without anesthesia. Our doctors apply gentle pressure to prevent blood from accumulating in the vein as you stand up after the procedure. If needed, our doctors will provide compression stockings to wear for a few days post procedure. Sclerotherapy is a simple solution that resolves the visible damage of unhealthy veins and facilitates circulation by sealing off non-viable veins.
Is Sclerotherapy Painful?
Our skilled vein specialists are experts in painless, minimally invasive techniques. Most patients require just one injection, although patients with larger veins or extensive damage might need an additional session. With our doctors’ precision, most patients feel no pain at all, while some experience a few seconds of mild cramping or burning.
What are the Side Effects of Sclerotherapy?
The side effects of sclerotherapy treatments can include:
- Mild pain from the injection
- Temporary swelling
- Allergic reactions (rare)
- Nerve damage (rare)
- Capillary dilation (telangiectatic matting)
- Vasovagal reflex
- Skin damage (cutaneous necrosis, rare)
- Arterial injection
- Superficial thrombophlebitis
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Migraine headaches
What are the Pros & Cons of Sclerotherapy Treatment?
Pros of Sclerotherapy for NY Vein Treatment
Patients love that sclerotherapy is non-surgical, so there’s no scarring, hospitalization, or anesthesia involved. This technique has a long track record as a safe and effective outpatient procedure, suitable for administration in a doctor’s office.
Another advantage to sclerotherapy is how quickly it’s performed and how quickly it works. Most patients are in and out of the office in 30 minutes, returning to work and their normal routines the same day. Unlike vein surgery, sclerotherapy requires no recovery time, so patients don’t have to block off extra days to heal. Sclerotherapy is a discreet procedure with no visible incisions or stitches.
Cons of Sclerotherapy for NY Vein Treatment
One disadvantage of sclerotherapy is that it doesn’t always work for large varicose veins. Oversized veins might require a combination of techniques like VenaSeal or radiofrequency ablation for best results.
Patients with spider veins or small varicose veins respond best to sclerotherapy. Our vein doctors will determine if your veins are suited for sclerotherapy and offer alternatives if not. A first line of treatment for spider veins, sclerotherapy is easily paired with other techniques for patients with more complicated veins.
Contact NYC Vein Treatment
Request an appointment at one of our Manhattan or Long Island vein facilities by visiting our Book an Appointment. Before your visit, we provide free insurance verification.