Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure and has been in use since the 1930s and recovery is rapid.
Candidates for Sclerotherapy
Prior to sclerotherapy, you will have an initial consultation to decide if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
If you’re pregnant, doctors recommend waiting until after your delivery to have sclerotherapy done. You can have sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend on the overall health of the area needing treatment as well as the reason for the clot.
Veins that are potentially usable for future heart bypass surgery will generally not be considered for sclerotherapy, unless they are already deemed unusable.
Sclerotherapy is often done for:
Cosmetic purposes — to improve the appearance of varicose and spider veins
The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as:
- Night cramps
Since this procedure is considered cosmetic, it is not covered by most insurances. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, be sure to let your doctor know as there may be other issues and another procedure covered my insurance may be recommended.