Sclerotherapy

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Antiaging Tips & Secrets Slideshow Pictures

How are sclerotherapy injections administered?

There are now two FDA-approved sclerosants available, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a detergent) and polidocanol (Asclera). For small veins, hypertonic saline is occasionally used. Depending on the size of the vein to be treated, the sclerosant may be administered as foam. A needle of the appropriate caliber is inserted into the vessel to be treated, and the chemical is injected.

What is the recovery time for sclerotherapy?

This is an outpatient procedure and the patient leaves the office on the same day of treatment.

What aftercare is needed following a sclerotherapy procedure?

Patients should wear compression dressings for one to three weeks after treatment. A follow-up visit within two weeks to enable the evacuation of blood clots in larger veins can improve the prognosis and the appearance.

What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?

For patients with venous insufficiency, treatment can be beneficial by improving venous blood flow and limiting chronic swelling. For those with cosmetic complaints, their appearance can be improved.

What are risks, side effects, and complications of sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy risks, side effects, and complications include hyperpigmentation, temporary swelling, capillary dilation (telangiectatic matting), pain from the injection, localized hives, tape compression blister, tape compression folliculitis, and recurrence, vasovagal reflex, localized hair growth (hirsutism), skin death (cutaneous necrosis), allergic reaction, superficial thrombophlebitis, arterial injection, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, nerve damage, and migraine headaches.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/13/2015
VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Sclerotherapy - Side Effects

    Did you experience any side effects from sclerotherapy?

    Post View 1 Comment
  • Sclerotherapy - Effective Treatment

    Was sclerotherapy an effective treatment for your varicose veins or spider veins?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors