Varicose Veins Treatment: Sclerotherapy

Many individuals opt for sclerotherapy for varicose veins treatment, and to treat spider veins and hemorrhoids. Other possible treatments are surgery and laser therapy, but sclerotherapy is normally recommended for more serious conditions.

About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged and protruding veins that usually occur in the legs, thighs or feet, but can also occur in other areas of the body. For some people these can be just a physical imperfection, but for others, it can be a painful experience. Symptoms of varicose veins include large bulging veins or a single vein under the skin, which can sometimes appear twisted. It often causes pain and a burning sensation.

Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are usually a milder form of vein problems with no bulging, being usually only superficial. These often appear as short fine lines around the feet and thighs, but can also can occur in facial areas. Spider veins are often red, blue or purple in color, and can also be treated by sclerotherapy.

Medical studies indicate that women are three times more likely to get these veins than men, and 50 percent of the time this medical condition is inherited. Normally, Caucasians are affected. Varicose veins tend to worsen with age or from increased weight, pregnancy, birth control pills or from standing for long periods of time.

If varicose veins are a possibility, it is wise to contact a physician, because they can occasionally be a sign of a circulatory problem. The doctor may recommend an ultrasonography (ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging). For milder cases, leg elevation or the use of compression stockings is often suggested.


Sclerotherapy is normally the primary choice of treatment for blood vessel malformation and varicose veins. It can be done simply enough on an outpatient basis, and is often the selected method for many clinics and hospitals.

How Sclerotherapy Is Performed

With sclerotherapy, a chemical or saline solution is injected into the affected vein with the use of a fine needle. Usually one injection per vein in need of treatment is performed. This process irritates the vein walls, leading to the collapsing of the vein, which will usually eventually fade away. Sterilized cotton and compression tape are usually applied to the area after the sclerotherapy procedure.

Sclerotherapy for Facial Veins

The treatment for facial veins with sclerotherapy is usually about the same, but finer needles are used. Most physicians will normally also select a gentler solution for the injections, because the facial area is often more sensitive.

Who Should Not Get Sclerotherapy

Women who are pregnant should not get sclerotherapy until at least three months after giving birth, because the veins will often disappear after the delivery. Other contraindications are persons with bleeding disorders, heart disease, diabetes, syphilis, AIDS or people with hepatitis. Any allergies should be reported to the surgeon prior to the varicose veins treatment.