Sclerotherapy FAQs

General FAQs
  • Q1 :

    Is treatment necessary?

  • Varicose veins and spider veins are always abnormal and will not disappear without treatment.  Left unchecked varicose veins can lead to unpleasant and even serious complications as skin discoloration and sores, bleeding, ankle swelling and phlebitis.  Spider veins, not associated with varicose veins, will likely remain only a cosmetic problem although some patients complain bitterly of discomfort for no other apparent reason.  While many persons chose not to treat varicose veins, especially when they are not causing pain or discomfort, in the minority of cases that complications develop, treating the varicose veins after the fact cannot reverse the complications and therefore comes too late.

    The agents used to inject veins during sclerotherapy are drugs; can one have an allergic reaction while having these injections?

    Allergic reaction during sclerotherapy is a very rare occurrence because the drug is generally trapped in the local area of injection. In extremely rare situations, respiratory and vascular collapse (anaphylaxis) can occur, which is life-threatening. If it does occur, your doctor has methods to manage the symptoms, which is most commonly quite effective.

  • Q2 :

    What is sclerotherapy? Can it be used as an alternative to surgery?

  • Sclerotherapy refers to the injection of dilated veins and spider blemishes with medication specifically formulated to cause their disappearance without doing harm to normal healthy veins, the skin or other tissues.  Only the finest and highest quality needles are used and strict asepsis is observed, with everything appropriately discarded immediately after use.  Sclerotherapy however, is not an alternative to surgery.  If you read or are told otherwise, ask questions, be critical and by all means, get another opinion from a qualified specialist.  Be wary of high tech sounding terms such as "echosclerotherapy and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy."  These are not sophisticated techniques known only to a privileged few, nor are they legitimate alternative treatments when surgical intervention is indicated.

    Many cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons and other trained medical doctors treat patients with varicose veins and spider veins as part of their overall practice in which they provide the highest quality care to their patients.  But they always refer patients they know they cannot help to qualified associates.