Sclerotherapy involves injecting a hypertonic saline solution through a tiny needle directly into your spider veins, causing them to contract and collapse. This procedure is best suited for medium to large spider veins because it relies upon fitting a tiny needle into a tiny vein. The procedure is performed in the office by a UF physician assistant and is relatively painless.
Depending on the number of spider veins, the procedure may require five minutes to one hour. Afterward, you will wear compression hose for fourteen days. You may resume sedentary activities immediately but should avoid exercise, hot baths and alcohol for two days. You should anticipate a 50 percent improvement in spider veins following each sclerotherapy session. Expect that two to six sclerotherapy sessions at one- to two-month intervals may be necessary to achieve your desired results. Understand that some spider veins may never be successfully treated through sclerotherapy and laser therapy may be a better option.
Prior to treatment, UF physician assistants recommend avoiding aspirin or ibuprofen for two days, as well as alcohol and tobacco products, as these may delay healing. Do not shave your legs the day of the appointment, but shower and wash legs with no moisturizing.
Potential side effects
- Mild itching
- Discoloration-hyperpigmentation which may last 4-12 months
- Skin Death
- Pain and bruising
- Matting, which is the development of tiny new blood vessels, can occur in up to 10 percent of patients and may resolve after four to six months
Expected duration of results
Regardless of treatment, you should anticipate the development of new spider veins over time, just as you would if your spider veins had not been treated. Spider vein therapy treats current spider veins, but does not prevent new ones.