Vein Services

Visual Sclerotherapy


Visual Sclerotherapy

Visual sclerotherapy, like ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, is a technique that has been used for decades to treat unwanted varicose and spider veins. The technique involves injecting a medication, called a sclerosant, into unwanted veins. The sclerosant causes the veins to close down, collapse, and shrink. Once these unwanted veins are closed down, blood can no longer flow through them and is rerouted to normally functioning veins nearby.

We use two different sclerosants that are approved by the FDA for treatment of unwanted veins: sodium tetradecyl sulfate and polidocanol. Both of these sclerosants have long been proven to be safe and effective. Unlike hypertonic saline solutions used in the past, these sclerosants do not cause burning and cramping making treatment much more comfortable.

As the name implies, visual sclerotherapy is performed on veins that we can see with our naked eyes. This technique is most often used on spider veins, since these veins are close to the surface of our skin and easily seen. A small fine needle is inserted into the unwanted veins. Once inserted, a small amount of medication is injected into the veins. Small injections are made along the course of the vein until the entire length of the unwanted vein is treated.

Visual Sclerotherapy

What veins can be treated?

Sclerotherapy is a versatile treatment option for unwanted veins, and can treat a variety of vein types including:

  • Green or blue reticular veins
  • Pink or red telangiectasias (spider veins)
  • Purple telangiectasias
  • Leg veins
  • Arm and hand veins
  • Chest, breast, and back veins

What to expect

Pre-treatment photographs are done to document your before and after results. Treatment sessions take approximately 30 minutes, making this a great “lunch time treatment” option. Visual sclerotherapy is well tolerated by most patients. It is generally described as feeling like small pin pricks, a sensation that lasts very briefly. Prior to your treatments we ask that you:

  • Avoid tanning or self-tanning lotions
  • Do not put lotion on your skin the day of treatment
  • Inform us of any new medical diagnoses or medications changes since your last visit
  • Bring your compression socks

After treatment we encourage you to resume your normal activities. You may notice some bruising after treatment, and a mild redness where the veins were treated. If bruising occurs it typically goes away within 2 weeks. The healing process takes time, and we tell every patient that it is normal for your veins to sometimes look worse before they start to look better.

How many treatments are needed?

Several treatment sessions are generally needed to get the best results. The exact number of treatments can vary widely based upon each patient’s unique presentation and their desired goals. At your consultation we will thoroughly examine your legs and provide an estimated number of sessions we anticipate you needing based upon your concerns.

Before & After

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