Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to collapse the veins.
Sclerotherapy is usually used for smaller varicose veins and spider veins. In the procedure, the skin over the area of the veins is stretched taut and a tiny needle is used to inject the vein with saline solution (salt water) that irritates the lining of the vein. In response, the vein collapses and is reabsorbed. The surface veins are not longer visible, and most patients experience symptom relief. A physician may also use ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy to treat deeper veins that might otherwise require surgical removal.
Doctors perform sclerotherapy for spider veins on an outpatient basis and does not require anesthesia. Afterward, your surgeon will wrap the area in compression bandages or will have you wear support hose. The injection area will be tender for two to three days, and the bruises will fade in about a month. Darker pigmentation may occur and can last for as long as a year.
Complications can include the formation of blood clots in the superficial veins, local infections, and scarring. Another complication is development of collections of red or purple blood vessels, which may disappear on their own or require more injections or laser treatment.
Last updated: 26-May-04