Foam Sclerotherapy Treatment

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat varicose andspider veins. During the procedure, the doctor injects a solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the container, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, the vein turns into scar tissue that disappears. Sclerotherapy is a proven treatment and has been used since the 1930s.

How successful is sclerotherapy in the treatment of varicose veins and capillaries?

Sclerotherapy works well for most patients. It is estimated that 50 to 80% of the injected veins can be eliminated in each session. A few people (less than 10%) undergoing sclerotherapy do not respond at all to injections. In these cases, different solutions, or a different method such as laser treatment can be tried.

In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins in 3 to 4 months. If the veins respond to treatment, they usually do not reappear. However, over time, new veins may appear. If necessary, you can return for injections.


How will I know if I am suitable for sclerotherapy?

Before the procedure, you will meet with a vein specialist who will assess your eligibility for sclerotherapy.


You are not eligible for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or bedridden. You must wait at least 3 months after giving birth before you can be evaluated for this procedure.

If you are taking birth control pills, you can undergo sclerotherapy. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility for sclerotherapy will depend on what caused the clot and how serious it was.

Veins that can be used for future surgical bypass procedures (such as the saphenous vein for coronary artery bypass graft surgery) will generally not be considered for injection unless they are currently considered unusable.



How is sclerotherapy done?

First, the treatment area is sterilized. Then the solution is injected directly into the blood vessel using very fine needles. The number of veins injected in a single session depends on the size and location of the veins and the general medical condition of the patient.

Preparations for the procedure:

Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen (i.e., Advil® and Nuprin®), or other anti-inflammatory drugs for 48 hours before and after sclerotherapy, as these drugs may interfere with the effect of the sclerosing agent or increase bleeding. Tylenol® is allowed. Ask your doctor for specific guidelines before stopping any medication.

Prednisone makes the sclerosing agent less effective. Ask the doctor prescribing your prednisone if it can be safely discontinued 48 hours before the sclerotherapy procedure.


Other instructions before the procedure:

Lotion should not be applied to the legs before or after sclerotherapy.

We recommend bringing a pair of shorts to wear during the procedure.

If you have compression stockings (support stockings)from previous treatments, they can provide adequate support after the procedure, so take them with you.

What happens after sclerotherapy treatment?

After the treatment, you can go home by yourself. You can resume your regular activities, and you are encouraged to walk.

You will be asked to wear support stockings or compression wraps to compress the treated veins. If a heavy compression stocking is prescribed, a store-bought support stocking may not be sufficient.

For the treatment to be successful, follow these guidelines for 48 hours after the procedure:

Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Tylenol® can be used if needed for pain relief.

Do not take hot baths or sit in a hot tub or sauna. You can take a shower, but the water should be colder than usual.

Wash the injection sites with a mild soap and warm water.

Do not apply hot compresses or any heat to the injected areas.

Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, including tanning beds.

Contact us if you have any concerns or questions after the procedure.


What are the side effects of sclerotherapy?

Side effects of sclerotherapy may include:

Larger veins that are injected may become lumpy or hard for several months before they heal. 

Swollen red areas may appear at injection sites and should disappear within a few days.

Brown streaks or spots on the skin may appear at the injection site, possibly caused by a type of iron escaping from the blood in the injected veins. In most cases, they disappear within 3 to 6 months, but can be permanent about 5% of the time.

Bruising may occur at the injection site and may last for several days or weeks.

Temporary small blood vessels may develop in the treated area. This is called revascularization, "flashes", "mats" or "blushing". They may appear days or weeks after the procedure, but disappear within a few months and usually do not require further treatment.

Allergic reactions to the sclerosing agent may occur during injection and are rarely serious. Symptoms can include itching and swelling.

Other side effects rarely develop after sclerotherapy. If you have any of these rare side effects, please contact your doctor immediately:

Inflammation (swelling) in the groin.

The sudden appearance of a swollen leg.

Small ulcer formation at the injection site.

Red streaking, especially in the groin area.

How will I feel after the sclerotherapy procedure?

You may experience mild discomfort when injected into veins and a cramping sensation for 1 to 2 minutes when injected into larger veins.





Contact me immediately to find out how I can help you.