Sclerotherapy is the injection of a solution into an abnormal vein with a fine needle. This damages the lining of the varicose vein/spider vein causing it to scar down and collapse. The varicose vein, over time is absorbed by the body’s own healing mechanism and is removed from the circulation. Blood is automatically re-routed through normal, healthy veins.
The injection treatments are performed at the Capital Region Vein Centre in multiple sessions at one week intervals. Usually only one leg is treated in a single session. Following sclerotherapy of large varicose veins a sheer compression stocking is worn during the day for the next seven days. The injected varicose veins will disappear over a period of 6 to 8 week. Spider veins usually take 8 to 12 weeks to disappear. Patients may resume their normal daily activities immediately and are encouraged to walk.
After effects of sclerotherapy include itching and redness at the injection site which only lasts for several hours. Brownish discoloration of the skin may occur in 15% to 25% of patients and will disappear completely over a period of several months. Matting occurs in 10% of patients and is the development of very tiny dense veins which looks similar to a red blemish. Matting can be effectively treated with laser.
The number of treatment sessions needed to clear the condition depends on the amount of varicose veins/spider veins present. At the time of the initial consultation an estimate of the number of treatment sessions will be given. All insurance companies will pay for the initial consultation, any diagnostic testing and endovascular ablation procedures if they are required required.
Unfortunately no insurance company in the U.S. pays for sclerotherapy treatments; it is considered “cosmetic”. A sclerotherapy session in which numerous varicose/spider veins are treated lasts between 20-30 minutes and costs average between $200 to $225 per session.
(Image of Closure followed be Sclerotherapy, before and after. Procedure and image provided by Capital Region Vein and Laser Centre)