Sclerotherapy is a procedure to treat varicose and spider veins. The minimally invasive procedure uses a fine, thin needle to inject a substance directly into the vein, to improve the cosmetic appearance of spider veins and small varicose veins. The procedure involves a solution directly injected into the affected veins, causing them to shrink and eventually disappear. This solution causes an irritation of the lining of the vein, and causes the vein to swell and the blood to clot. The vein then turns into scar tissue that may eventually fade from view.
This procedure may be an option for patients who have tried compression stockings and leg elevation without much success. Larger varicose veins may require the use of sclerotherapy and ablation, or possibly an ambulatory phlebectomy.
After sclerotherapy, the treated veins will fade after a few weeks, although occasionally it may take up to a few months to see the full results. In some cases, several treatments may be needed.