Sclerotherapy for Spider & Varicose Veins

Millions of people have spider and varicose veins. These are usually small clusters of red, blue, or purplish veins, most often occurring in the legs. Aching, burning, swelling, and cramps are common symptoms with these types of veins. Sclerotherapy helps to improve the appearance of these veins and to relieve painful symptoms.

What to expect

Sclerotherapy is a simple, safe procedure that involves using a small needle to inject the spider or varicose veins with one of several solutions: polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS), glycerin or hypertonic saline solution. The solution causes the veins to collapse and fade. The procedure is done in the physician’s office in about 30 minutes. No anesthesia is needed. Most patients experience minimal discomfort. There is no downtime following sclerotherapy, but some bruising and discoloration may appear after treatment. Most patients require a few sclerotherapy treatment sessions for the best results.

About two weeks after the procedure, the treated veins will improve in appearance and the skin will look healthier. After sclerotherapy treatment, many patients feel ready to wear shorts or skirts for the first time in years.

Before your procedure

We recommend that you follow the guidelines below when preparing for your treatment.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consider waiting to have sclerotherapy.
  • You will need to have a driver the day of the procedure.
  • The day before your procedure avoid shaving and applying lotion to the affected area.

After your procedure

Below are the steps you should follow after your treatment.

  • Wear compression stockings during the day for 3 days after treatment. Compression hose should provide adequate coverage for the treated area.
  • To prevent a blood clot, please walk 15 – 20 minutes daily for the first few days after your procedure.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking non-alcoholic, caffeine-free and sodium-free beverages.
  • Avoid excessive physical activity for 2 – 3 days after your procedure.
  • Avoid sun exposure, saunas, or hot baths for at least 2 – 3 days after your procedure.
  • Avoid flying or long car rides (longer than 45 minutes) for 2 – 3 days after your procedure.
  • To reduce any redness or discomfort, apply cool compresses in 20 minute intervals. Do not apply ice or anything frozen to the treatment site.
  • To maintain your results, sun protection is required for life. Prior to sun exposure, always apply at least an SPF 30 sunscreen and wear protective clothing.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up visit. You may require several treatments to achieve favorable results.

Please contact the nurse if you develop:

  • A temperature of 100° F or greater
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Open wounds or possible infection
Take the next step

Let us help schedule an appointment with a vascular doctor.


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