Sclerotherapy TreatmentSclerotherapy is a common treatment for varicose veins and spider veins and can be completed in an outpatient setting. Tampa General Hospital offers sclerotherapy to patients experiencing uncomfortable symptoms due to varicose veins or spider veins. This minimally invasive procedure is conducted in an outpatient setting, and since it doesn’t require anesthesia, some patients are able to drive themselves home afterward.
Conditions Treated With Sclerotherapy
While sclerotherapy is recognized as a leading treatment for varicose and spider veins, the vascular specialists at TGH’s Heart & Vascular Institute also offer this procedure for:
- Peripheral venous disease (PVD)
- Polycystic liver disease (when combined with a cyst aspiration)
Sclerotherapy Treatment Details
Sclerotherapy treatment can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour; it all depends on the severity of the venous issue.
Here’s what to expect from the procedure:
- The treatment area will be cleaned.
- Then, the damaged vein will be injected with a fine needle that has a sclerosing agent—either polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate or a hypertonic saline solution.
- The solution will then get to work closing the walls of the vein so that blood must be redirected to other nearby veins.
- Over time, the body will absorb the damaged vein and it will fade from view.
What to Expect
The primary benefit of sclerotherapy is pain relief, as this procedure is most often recommended for patients experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, such as legs that are aching, burning, cramping or throbbing. Aesthetics are another benefit of sclerotherapy, as it will diminish the appearance of spider and varicose veins.
It’s important to note that there are a handful of risks to the procedure, almost none of which cause long-term issues. After sclerotherapy, you may experience:
- Lumpy veins
- Bruising or redness around the injection site
- Itching and swelling due to an allergic reaction to the sclerosing agent
- Brown lines or spots around the injection site that eventually go away
- Revascularization, which is when tiny blood vessels develop around the treatment area (they will fade within a few months)
Sclerotherapy is highly effective for patients with varicose or spider veins. Studies show that most people respond well to this treatment, with each sclerotherapy session eliminating issues in 50-80% of injected veins. Spider veins will begin to diminish in appearance within three to six weeks while larger veins may take a few months.
Receiving sclerotherapy from a highly experienced vascular specialist is key to effective results, which is why consulting with the team at TGH is ideal. Our specialists are committed to delivering world-class outcomes and a top-notch patient experience.