Sclerotherapy: Treatment of medium and spider veins

Medium and spider veins are the most common type of veins encountered. A simple saline solution is usually all that is required to treat most mid-size varicose veins and spider veins. This mild solution induces a mild inflammatory reaction, and the mid-size or spider veins disappear.


How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

Various solutions - saline-based; iodine-based or ASA-based solutions; sotradecol, polidodecanol - are injected into the varicose veins, to “irritate” the vein walls. This produces a “fibrotic reaction”, which causes the walls of the veins to stick together. Within a few weeks, the veins are “sclerosed” under the skin, and disappear without a trace. In the past years - sclerosing foam - has also been used.


Which varicose veins are to be treated with Sclerotherapy? All!

All of them. Varicose veins are treated from large deeper veins to superficial spider veins.


How many sessions are required?

The number of sessions required depends on the extent of the disease. Some patients need two or three sessions only, other need fifteen or more; but the average is six to eight sessions to obtain good results. Each session lasts about 15 minutes.


Is the treatment painful?

Comparable to a mosquito bite or a pin prick. The site can be sensitive for a day or two, like a bruise. During menstrual periods the treatment can follow its normal course but legs are more sensitive. Injections around the knees, ankles and feet can cause slight swelling which disappears within a few days.


When are the results obvious?

Pain in the legs as well as general appearance of legs improve after three or four sessions. Properly treated varicose veins disappear for good but the hereditary tendency to produce them remains.

NB: The patient can immediately go home or to work after the injections and resume normal daily activities.

Medium & spider veins

Before

After

Sclerotherapy:  injection of a sclerosing solution into varicose veins, to close them up