Sclerotherapy is typically used to treat spider veins or small varicose veins.* During this procedure, a solution is injected into the vein using tiny needles. This solution (sclerosant) causes damage to the inside of the vein, causing the vein to close. In time, the vein is absorbed into the body.

The procedure usually takes place in our comfortable facility with a local anesthetic. Using a series of tiny injections, a saline solution or other solution is injected into the vein. In some cases, a tiny catheter may be inserted into the vein to allow the use of a foam sclerosant. If a catheter and foam are used, they will be guided by the use of duplex ultrasound. Some patients experience a feeling of minor burning and discomfort during the procedure. Repeat injections may be necessary to achieve the desired results.sclero_injection

Depending on the size and number of veins being treated, the procedure is usually completed in 5 to 30 minutes. Before leaving the office, patients put on medical-grade compression stockings or elastic bandages as directed by their physician. Most patients are able to walk immediately after the procedure, but should refrain from strenuous exercise for approximately one week after treatment.


* Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your physician.

  • Summary

    Type of anesthesia

    • Local

    Length of procedure

    • 5-30 minutes

    Before the procedure

    • Let your PVC physician know what medicines and herbs you are taking
    • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for at least 72 hours before procedure; acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually safe to take
    • Don't put lotion or cream on your legs the day of the procedure
    • Plan to avoid vacation / travel for two weeks after treatment

    After the procedure

    • Wear compression stockings
    • Elevate legs occasionally
    • Exercise moderately (i.e. walking), but avoid strenuous exercise
    • For the first two days after the procedure, avoid hot baths and saunas or soaking in a tub
    • Take acetaminophen for pain, if necessary
    • Contact PVC if you notice any pain, lumps, redness or other concerns

    Side effects

    • These minor side effects may subside with time. If you ever have any questions, please contact the PVC office.
    • Discoloration at treatment site (this is the most common side effect)
    • Bruising, itching, scarring and pain at treatment site
    • If larger veins have been treated, they may become lumpy before fading

    There are other rare, but potentially serious, side effects that may occur as the result of treatment. If you notice any of these, contact PVC or your local Emergency Department as soon as possible.

    • Blood clots (pain, tenderness, sudden swelling in the leg; visibly larger veins; skin that is warm to the touch)
    • Anaphylactic reaction to the sclerosant

    Insurance coverage

    • If done for cosmetic reasons, usually not covered
    • If done for medical reasons, may be covered