Yes, any size vein can be treated, but the process may be different.
Will I need more than one treatment?
It depends on the extent of the disease, but most people will need between 2 and 8 treatments.
Can the veins come back once they are treated?
No, they have been permanently removed. However, new veins may develop in the same site.
What should I expect after sclerotherapy?
You will be able to return to your regular activities. We ask that you walk at least 30 minutes per day, starting as soon as you finish your first treatment. You should avoid weightlifting or strenuous aerobics for three weeks. It is recommended that you avoid getting sunlight to the treated site for at least one month.
Is this covered by insurance?
Many insurance companies will reimburse if it is considered to be a medical problem. Cosmetic problems are typically not covered and will vary with the insurance company. Spider veins are considered cosmetic and treatment is usually not covered.
Will I leave the office in bandages?
For small veins, a self-adhesive wrap is applied, which can be removed that evening. Compressions stockings will be required for a few weeks following the injection.
How soon will veins disappear?
For most veins, they will gradually resolve over a 2 week to 3 month period of time.
Does it hurt?
No, you may feel a small pin prick with small veins and have mild bruising with the large veins.
What kind of veins can not be treated with sclerotherapy?
Veins which are larger than 1 centimeter and near a major junction often require surgical treatment or other procedures. Extremely small veins less than 1/1000 of a millimeter respond to intense pulse light (IPL) treatments.
Are there other ways to treat varicose veins?
(1) Surface Laser – This is a technique that is best reserved for facial vessels and can be performed at our office.
(2) Electrical Needle Treatment – With this method, both the vessel and the overlaying skin is destroyed, producing a greater incidence of scaring.
(3) Surgical ligation or stripping – This is typically reserved for vessels greater than 1 centimeter in diameter and requires general anesthesia and hospitalization.
(4) Endovenous procedures are done in our office and used in the treatment of large varicose veins.
(5) Ambulatory Phlebectomy – A surgical office procedure typically used for larger varicose veins.
Are there side effects to sclerotherapy?
(1) Some may experience a darkening of the skin at the site of injection. Within 3-6months, 80% of these resolve. The remainder of these will usually disappear
(2) A small superficial ulcer may form at the injection site. They are most common around the ankles and rarely leave any permanent scars.
(3) Occasionally a clot will form in the injected vessel. These are easily removed within 2-3 weeks and never cause any internal problems.
(4) Superficial veins can become inflamed. We call this Superficial Thrombophlebitis. This occurs in less than 1 per 1,000 patients and is typically treated at home with elevation, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and compression stockings.
What should I do before my appointment to receive sclerotherapy?
Stop all aspirin products for one week before your appointment. Do not shave your legs or apply any lotions the day of your appointment. Bring comfortable shorts to wear for the procedure and slacks to wear home.
How long does the procedure take?
Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Am I doing any harm by removing these veins?
No, these are diseased veins and they serve no useful purpose.
Can anyone have sclerotherapy?
No, there are some people who are not candidates. It is important to inform the physician doing your sclerotherapy of any medical problems, and of medications you are taking.
What can I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit will include a thorough history and exam. Further testing may be required to determine your treatment plan. Injections are usually not done on your first appointment.
Is there a good website for more information on venous disease?
Yes, The American College of Phlebology has an excellent and informative web page at www.phlebology.org.