Sclerotherapy is a common procedure for treating small to medium sized veins (spider veins). It can also be used for larger varicose veins. A tiny needle is used to inject a solution into the vein which irritates the inner lining of the vein causing it to collapse, scar and eventually reabsorb. Different concentrations of the sclerosant solution are used for different size veins. A common technique and one used at The Vein & Esthetic Centre, is to foam the solution before it is injected. This greatly increases the effectiveness of the solution and allows us to use more volume per session. There is minimal discomfort with these injections, often a feeling of a little mosquito bite or often nothing at all.
You may need anywhere from one to several injection sessions for each vein region. The number of injections per session can vary widely depending on the size of the vein injected. A session of sclerotherapy is limited by the volume of solution injected. Dr. Critchlow will be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions may be required.
You will have better results and fewer side effects if you wear low grade compression stockings for three weeks after each session. Your legs will often look worse for weeks to a month or so before they begin to look better. You may have some bruising and Hyperpigmentation, a tannish discoloration where the vein was. This discoloration almost always fads and can often last weeks to a few months, rarely longer. Occasionally there will be areas of trapped blood with the veins that were injected. Although this will resolve on its own, often this can be removed to allow the area to heal quicker and with less pigmentation.
Dr. Critchlow has been injecting veins since 1984 and for at least the last ten years has treated patients with sclerotherapy daily.