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What Is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure that uses microinjection technology to reduce the appearance of spider veins. The procedure involves the injection of a sterile solution called a sclerosing solution, which may be either hypertonic saline or sodium tetradecyl sulfate, directly into the spider veins by way of an ultra-fine needle. The sclerosing solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to dissolve and eventually disappear. Multiple veins may be treated at each session.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are tiny networks of veins that typically appear in the legs and thighs. Spider veins typically appear in women between 30 and 50 years of age and often show up after pregnancy in reaction to the production of estrogen during pregnancy. Spider veins get their name because they resemble a spider’s web, often appearing in a network pattern in a circular fashion. These veins are usually bluish or light purple in color, appear in a lattice pattern, and are completely harmless, though they may be unsightly and detract from otherwise young-looking legs.

Can Sclerotherapy Be Used To Treat Large Varicose Veins?

No. Sclerotherapy is a treatment designed specifically to treat very small superficial veins that appear at a shallow level just beneath the skin. Sclerotherapy is not the most effective treatment for large varicose veins that occur in deeper layers of tissue. In instances when sclerotherapy is used to treat larger varicose veins, large amounts of the sclerosing solution must be used in order to facilitate absorption, a stronger solution, and a higher volume is required. Following the treatment for larger veins, compression hose stockings are typically prescribed to be worn for at least two weeks. It is best to get sclerotherapy treatment in the winter months while one’s legs are less visible under winter clothing.

How Do I Prepare For Sclerotherapy?

We recommend that you avoid the use lotion or oil on your legs for 24 hours prior to your sclerotherapy treatments. We also suggest that you shave your legs the night prior, and avoid sun exposure for a month before and after treatment to help reduce the possibility of dark pigmentation forming at the injection site. Bring a pair of shorts with you to wear during the actual procedure and loose pants, sweats or a skirt to accommodate the compression bandages that will be placed on your legs following the procedure.

How Long Does The Treatment Take? How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The treatment itself normally takes as little as 20 to 30 minutes, but we ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled treatment. The number of treatments required to eliminate all spider veins from both legs typically varies from patient to patient. While many patients may require just one session, others may require several. If multiple sessions are required, it’s best to schedule them a few weeks apart to allow proper healing between treatments.

A consultation with Dr. Murphy leaves patients fully knowledgeable about their options. Schedule your consultation today to start on the road to facial rejuvenation.

How Is Sclerotherapy Performed?

During the sclerotherapy procedure, medication is injected into the spider vein that displaces the blood, causes the vein to appear lighter, and irritates the lining, causing it to eventually collapse. Compression dressings are used following the procedure to keep the vein closed and prevent blood from flowing to it. Within a month, the vein is absorbed by the body, collapses, and disappears. Sclerotherapy is a safe outpatient procedure performed directly in our office without the use of anesthesia. Although the procedure is not painful, some patients report that the individual injections may cause a slight burning sensation that lasts a few seconds.

What Can I Expect After Sclerotherapy?

Following the procedure, your legs will be wrapped in a compression bandage or support stocking that you may remove in 24 to 48 hours and resume normal activities. You may experience bruising and slight soreness at the injection sites and the area may feel tender for a day or so. Your legs will initially look worse before they begin to look better. Results will be visible in about a month. Some veins require retreatment, and there is always the possibility that your body may continue to create new varicose or spider veins.

Will Sclerotherapy Work For Me?

Varicose veins don’t usually grow back after effective treatment. Nonetheless, no cosmetic procedure can alter genetics, as well as the natural aging process. Some patients do experience recurrence, and we can retreat these veins with sclerotherapy or other procedures. Sclerotherapy is not just a cosmetic solution; it actually improves circulation and relieves painful symptoms of spider veins in the legs.

How Will I Feel After Sclerotherapy?

Some patients experience temporary itching, soreness, swelling or cramping in the affected region. Your leg will be wrapped in a compression bandage, and once the bandage is removed, you may notice slight bruising and discoloration in the area. This is temporary and will naturally fade over a few weeks.

Can I Exercise After Treatment?

We recommend that for a few days following the procedure, you avoid activities that may put pressure on the treated area, such as running, jogging, and heavy lifting. Nonetheless, Dr. Murphy may suggest a walking program to increase blood circulation and promote faster healing.

Dr. Murphy encourages increased exercise a few days after the procedure. People who use their leg muscles every day heal faster and experience fewer complications and less discomfort than people who remain sedentary. The simplest, most effective exercise to improve vein function is walking, and we recommend walking one hour daily.

Does Sclerotherapy Cause Stains On The Skin?

Many patients experience temporary brownish discoloration caused by a pigment released in the skin from veins in the process of disintegrating. These stains may take several months to fade away, depending on the size of the veins, your skin type, and your individual healing ability.

Are The Results Of Treatment With Sclerotherapy Temporary?

It is impossible to predict whether someone will develop spider veins again after sclerotherapy treatment. Some people have a hereditary predisposition to develop new varicose veins following treatment, although, for many patients, sclerotherapy is extremely effective in permanently eliminating varicose and spider veins. Veins lighten after each treatment.

How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost in Palm Beach Gardens?

Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgery currently works with CareCredit® to provide our patients with convenient financing options. Within a few hours of applying, you can be pre-approved for your sclerotherapy treatment.

Dr. Murphy is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He specializes in facial plastic surgery procedures, such as lip augmentations, facelifts, rhinoplasty, and chin augmentation. Our aesthetic nurse practitioner specializes in skin rejuvenation treatments, such as IPL® Photorejuvenation, permanent makeup, and liquid facelifts. She can also work with you to find skin care products that help you maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Schedule a Consultation Today >>

We invite you to schedule a consultation at our Palm Beach Gardens office today, and let esteemed facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark R. Murphy, help you create the enhanced appearance you deserve.


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