Jefferson University Hospitals

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a simple treatment done to eliminate leg telangiectasia or spider veins (larger than 1 millimeter) in which a solution called sclerosing agent is injected into the veins with a very tiny needle. The solution causes a mild, controlled reaction, resulting in the vein walls sticking together, closing off and eventually shrinking. The blood then flows to the healthier veins.

The majority of sclerotherapy treatments performed by the dermatologists of the Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center in Philadelphia result in significant improvement. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the treatment will be effective in every case. A small percentage of patients who undergo sclerotherapy may have poor to fair results.

Sclerotherapy Treatment Sessions and Results

The result can be immediate, however, it usually takes several weeks of healing to be achieved. Each vein usually requires one to three treatments. The veins disappear over a period of two weeks to three months. Recurrence may occur over a period of 1 to 5 years. This treatment does not prevent new telangiectasia from developing.

While in many cases the treated vein resolves in one treatment, the number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient. Depending on the extent of the spider vein present, multiple sessions may be required.

Certain types of large varicose veins may not respond readily to sclerotherapy alone. These vessels may require a minor surgical procedure followed later with sclerotherapy. You may be referred to a vascular surgeon for complete or partial treatment of these specific types of large varicose veins.