What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a safe, effective treatment used for spider, reticular or varicose veins. It involves a series of injections of a special chemical (sclerosant) that causes the lining in the blood vessel to become scar tissue that is reabsorbed by the body.

Sclerotherapy can eliminate the pain and discomfort often caused by varicose veins. The outpatient procedure, which doesn’t require anesthesia, is also used as a cosmetic treatment for spider veins, retitcular veins or any unattractive veins, resulting in an improved appearance.

All vascular and venous procedures at Michigan Medicine, including sclerotherapy, are performed by board-certified vascular surgeons who are committed to understanding your concerns and helping you achieve your goals.

What Should I Expect at My Sclerotherapy Appointment?

Your sclerotherapy appointment will last approximately one hour. During the procedure, your vein(s) will be injected with the sclerosant solution through very fine needles. You may feel itching or burning for a few minutes in the area where the solution is injected. This will quickly subside.

After the sclerosant is injected, a cotton ball with tape will be applied to your veins. You’ll also be fitted with compression stockings.

All patients require more than one treatment session as well as many injections during each session. However, the number of sessions and injections depends on the size and extent of your spider, reticular or varicose veins.

Treated areas may feel sore for a few days following the procedure, but discomfort is typically minimal and can be alleviated with Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (Naprosyn) or aspirin.

Your sclerotherapy procedure typically allows you to resume normal activities immediately after, although you’ll be advised to wear compression stockings for a period of time following the procedure to help improve circulation. Your doctor will let you know how long you should wear them.

Walking every day for a minimum of 30 minutes is recommended. Strenuous exercise and exposure to the sun should be avoided for one to two weeks following the procedure.

Make an Appointment

Visit our Make an Appointment page for more information.