Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel causing the vein to close. Over the course of weeks to months the veins fade and disappear.
Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure and has been in use since the 1930s. At Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute, I use FDA-approved Sotradecol and Asclera, which give much better results and is far less painful than the traditional hypertonic saline injections.
What type of veins do you inject?
Varicose Veins: Large varicose veins that are seen only by ultrasound can be injected under ultrasound guidance with a sclerosant that has been agitated into a foam. Most patients have more varicose veins seen only by ultrasound than bulging varicose veins. This treatment is covered by insurance.
Spider Veins: Spider veins are most effectively treated with sclerotherapy injections. Our treatment sessions last 25 minutes and during that time we injected as many veins as possible. For the next couple weeks the veins actually look a little darker and patients get some bruising. Over the next month the veins fade. Larger, darker clusters will require more than one treatment. Most patients require 3-5 treatments but this will vary with every patient.
Does Sclerotherapy hurt?
Even though it does involve the use of needles, most patients experience little discomfort. Following treatment I recommend patients apply Arnica gel twice daily for bruising and discomfort.
Following any vein treatment, patients wear tight compression stockings for 2-3 weeks. They should avoid “pounding” physical activities such as running for one week. They should also avoid being submerged in hot water such as a hot tub or bathtub for 2 weeks.
We are pleased to advance that Bess Holt, RN has joined our team performing cosmetic sclerotherapy. She has many years experience and is without question the best sclerotherapist in the state of New Mexico. Please call 505-848-8346 if you are ready to say goodbye to your spider veins.