What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a well established nonsurgical treatment of unwanted or symptomatic veins located superficially on the skin surface. It is primarily used to treat spider veins – those small yet unsightly clusters of red, blue or purple veins that most commonly appear on the thighs, calves and ankles.
How does Sclerotherapy work?
Sclerotherapy uses an injection of a special chemical (sclerosant) into a spider vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein. This causes the vein to close. Not all veins treated, however, will “take” on the initial session and so those may need to be retreated. Sclerotherapy, unfortunately, does not prevent new veins from appearing in the future.
What are Sclerotherapy treatments like?
Sclerotherapy is performed in the office and treatment typically lasts less than 30 minutes. After your skin is cleansed, very small needles inject the spider veins with the sclerosing agent. Some Mission Viejo and Orange County patients report a burning or itching sensation as the solution enters the veins, but the discomfort is minimal and no anesthesia is required. Patients are often surprised how fairly comfortable the treatment is. When the treatment is completed cotton balls and a compression wrap will be applied to facilitate the healing process.
How many treatments would I need?
The average Mission Viejo and Orange County patient will need 3-4 sessions spaced 1-2 months apart to remove most of the veins. Some patients may succeed with less and some patients will require more.
Does Sclerotherapy hurt and what are the side effects?
Sclerotherapy is a very safe and common treatment for spider veins. Some Mission Viejo and OC patients report an itching or burning sensation when the solution is injected into the veins; this often ends before the session is over and rarely lasts for longer than a day. Common temporary side effects include discoloration and bruising, both of which resolve over time (winter is a great time to have this therapy). The sclerosing agent can cause an allergic reaction in some people and can cause a treatable open sore on the skin if the agent leaks out from the vein.
What should I expect from Sclerotherapy Treatment?
While the actual Sclerotherapy treatment is short, the days that follow it are equally important to successful spider vein elimination. The breaking down of the unwanted vein will continue after the treatment is over. You will need to elevate your legs as much as possible and wear the compression hose continuously for three to five days. You will be able to do light exercise the day following your treatment, but should not resume any rigorous workouts for about a week. Walking however is recommended.
Are there any special instructions Before the treatment?
- Stop smoking before treatments
- Avoid certain vitamins and drugs that can cause bleeding, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin E
- Get the correct compression hose prior to your appointment
How does Sclerotherapy compare to Laser Vein Treatments?
Dr. Sikorski can help advise you on the best course of action depending on their evaluation of your veins. Generally larger dark veins do better with sclerotherapy and smaller red, blue or purple spider veins with laser.
Your consultation visit
You’ll enjoy a relaxing visit to our office where you can ask questions, meet our staff, take a tour of our office and surgical suite and view additional photo results of our Mission Viejo and Orange County patients.
Your consultation assessment is with Dr. Sikorski, not an impersonal or commissioned sales person. Fees and procedure preparations are discussed with our patient coordinator, who will detail the surgical experience with you.
We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the simplest solution to achieve the goals you desire. If you want more information on Sclerotherapy or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Sikorski at her office in the Mission Viejo and Orange County area at (949) 448-0487.