Sclerotherapy is a technique in which a solution is injected into superficial leg veins to improve their appearance. The solution irritates the vessel’s walls, causing them to stick together, shrivel up, and go away.
You will feel a series of tiny needle pricks and possibly burning as the solution is injected into each vein. Following the procedure, bruising is common and subsides over 1-2 weeks. Gradually over the next 2-3 months, the responsive veins slowly go away. Unfortunately, not all veins will respond and some will need additional treatments.
Most patients notice improvement with each treatment though a series of at least 2 treatments is helpful. Genetics plays a significant role, and patients who get leg veins tend to slowly develop more leg veins over a period of years. If veins get too small to inject, they can be difficult to inject though a laser can be used.
We suggest avoiding sun exposure and sunless tanners for 2 weeks. Being tan makes it more difficult to see the veins and to successfully inject them. To minimize the risk of bruising, avoid aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen and naproxen) for 2 weeks before treatment (unless you were placed on these medications by a physician). In addition, vitamins C, E, garlic, St John’s wort, ginseng, and/or gingko biloba are also blood thinners and should be stopped 1 week before treatment. Tylenol is NOT a blood thinner and is OKAY to take. All products may be resumed 3 days after the procedure.
Studies suggest that wearing prescription compression hose for 3 weeks following the procedure increases the effectiveness of this procedure. Compression hose will be prescribed by at your consultation and can be purchased at most local pharmacies. Ideally, you should bring them with you to your appointment and start wearing them before you leave the office. Compression hose are worn day and night (except during bathing) for 3 weeks. You can drive yourself to and from the appointment, and there are no restrictions on physical activity.
Being pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, has a history of blood clots, history of leaky leg valves, needle phobia, and/or active infection.