Sclerotherapy is an advanced treatment that addresses spider and varicose veins. It is a simple procedure that is performed by injecting a special solution directly into the veins. The blood in the treated vein changes its direction into healthy veins and the problematic vein collapses, gets reabsorbed by the body and fades away.

Sclerotherapy is performed for various reasons. It can be performed because of aesthetic reasons – it reduces the appearance of unsightly spider and varicose veins. It can also be done to improve the symptoms that are connected to varicose veins like pain, night cramps, swelling, itching, heavy feeling, rash, skin ulcers or burning sensations. Sometimes these symptoms are warning signs that the patient might be developing varicose veins.

The procedure is safe as it is FDA-approved and minimally invasive as it involves the use of very fine needles. It is effective because the treated veins usually should not reappear.

How It Works

Procedure info at a glance

Is it painful?Mildly uncomfortable
Is there any downtime?Possibility of bruising after injection
How many sessions are needed?Usually 2-3 sessions
How long does the procedure take?Around 60 minutes
When can I see the results?Right away with constant improvement over the period of 4 weeks
How often should I do it?Every month


Varicose veins are veins that grow larger than normal and become visible on the skin. They get filled with blood and can be very uncomfortable or painful. They can appear on all areas of the body but usually, they develop on legs, feet, arms, hands and ankles.

They are caused when veins get weaker or don’t function properly and don’t move the blood up to the heart but collect it in the lower and upper extremities. This collected blood pressures the vein and makes it grow bigger and bigger until it finally sticks out of the skin.

Some risks can contribute to the development of varicose veins like pregnancy, obesity or standing long. The varicose veins can also be developed because of genetic predisposition.


The treatment is safe, simple and minimally invasive. It helps patients eliminate their unsightly varicose veins because of aesthetic reasons and leaves their legs with clear and smooth skin.

It has another benefit – it can reduce unpleasant physical symptoms like cramps, pain or aching. The treatment improves patients’ blood flow and their legs don’t feel as heavy when standing for a longer time.

It is a very precise treatment and it doesn’t harm the surrounding tissue. Sclerotherapy can be performed with the help of ultrasound scanning which makes it even more precise.

The treated varicose or spider veins are long termly eliminated which makes this treatment highly effective.

Sclerotherapy treatment is an excellent choice for patients who wish to avoid surgery and a longer recovery period.


Asked By Others


    Patients who have isolated varicose veins on their legs, feet, arm, hands or ankles can benefit very much from this procedure. Also, if they have a short or long saphenous vein they are suitable for sclerotherapy treatment.

    On the other hand, pregnant or breastfeeding ladies should avoid this procedure. Also, patients who have very large and long varicose veins might benefit more from the surgery than sclerotherapy. This treatment is also not suitable for patients who are prone to underlying blood clotting.


    The first step in vein treatment is a consultation with Lucia Clinic’s doctor. He examines the veins in question and determines if this procedure is suitable for the patient. If yes, then the doctor creates a customized treatment plan that will address the patient’s specific concerns and meet his/her expectations. The treatment plan includes the number of injections which is determined according to the number and size of the veins that need to be treated. During the consultation, the patient talks about previous medical histories like having some heart conditions or blood clots. The patient should also mention the medication he/she is currently taking or if he/she has any allergies.

    Depending on the veins that need to be treated the doctor may perform an ultrasound examination. This is especially true for the veins in the patient’s legs because with ultrasound the doctor can see if there are any underlying blood vessel illnesses.

    After that, the doctor schedules the treatment date.

    Regarding medications, the doctor may advise the patient to stop using aspirin, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, blood thinners, iron or herbal supplements. These medications and supplements can contribute to longer bleeding and bruising so it is best to avoid them a week before the treatment.


    On the day of the treatment, the patient should wear loose clothes and avoid applying moisturizers or other cosmetic products to the targeted area.

    The sclerotherapy treatment is only minimally invasive and usually, it doesn’t require anesthesia.

    The doctor first cleans the targeted area, for example, the patient’s legs and slowly starts injecting the solution with a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel and causes the vein to swell. This leads to the blocking of the blood within this vein. The blood then flows to a healthy vein, while the treated vein starts to fade away. It becomes a redundant vessel that is eventually reabsorbed by the patient’s body.

    When the doctor finishes injecting the solution, he withdraws the needle, applies compression and massages the treated area to spread out the solution. Then he can move on to the next vein if necessary or finish the treatment. The whole treatment usually lasts for an hour.

    The patient may feel mild stinging or cramps when the doctor inserts the needle. If the patient is experiencing a lot of pain it could be because the solution is leaking from the vein into the tissue that surrounds it.

    After the treatment, the patient can stand up and walk right away. It is important that the patient moves his/her legs to prevent blood clots. In same cases the patient will need to wear compression stockings for two weeks to keep the treated veins compressed.


    The patient can resume his/her daily activities right away, but it is a good idea to have someone drive the patient home after the treatment. The doctor will recommend avoiding sun exposure for two weeks because the skin needs to heal. Prolonged sun exposure can cause dark spots around the injection sites especially if the patient has a darker skin color. Also, it is recommended not to do strenuous exercises during the healing period.

    The side effects that might appear after the treatment are only temporary and they include redness, bruising, small red blood vessels and minor skin sores. These sensitivities stop after a few days or after a couple of weeks.


    If the patient has treated spider veins or small varicose veins, he/she usually sees the results after three to six weeks. The redundant vessel gets reabsorbed by the patient’s body and fades away. If on the other hand, the patient treated larger veins, the results will appear after three to four months, because it takes more time for a larger vein pattern to fade away below the skin.

    The speed at which this treatment will work depends on the patient’s metabolism and immune system response since both are necessary for the reabsorption of the treated vein.

    The treated veins usually won’t reappear, so the results are long lasting. However, the treatment can not prevent the appearance of new veins.

    The patient may need more treatment sessions to achieve the desired results. Each treatment session needs to be six weeks spaced out. The number of sessions is determined during the consultation with the doctor and also according to the patient’s response to the treatment.


    Foam sclerotherapy treatment differs from traditional sclerotherapy in making the sclerotherapy solution into foam before injecting it into the vein. The foam is made by fast stirring the solution and mixing it with air. Foam sclerotherapy is used to treat larger underlying veins that can’t be treated with traditional sclerotherapy.

    The treatment with foam can also be done under ultrasound control.

    Before the treatment, the doctor marks the surface vein that will be treated on the patient’s leg for example, with ultrasound scanning. Then the patient is given local anesthesia in the lower thigh or the middle of the calf. After that, the doctor places a needle in the patient’s vein with the help of ultrasound scanning. Then two or three small needles are placed into the varicose vein and a foam solution is injected slowly into each needle. While the doctor is injecting the foam, the patient bends his/her ankle up and down to boost the blood flow in his/her deeper veins.

    During the treatment, the patient may feel mild stinging while the foam is being injected but it is not very uncomfortable. The doctor monitors the pass of the foam through the patient’s vein with ultrasound and repeats the injection of the foam 2 or 3 times.

    After the doctor has injected all the foam, here moves the needles and applies compression pads to the patient’s leg and wraps it with a bandage. The patient then receives an elastic compression stocking to keep the treated vein compressed. The compression stocking should be tight but not too much.

    The patient is then free to go, but it is a good idea to have someone drive him/her home.

    During the recovery period, the patient should walk a lot and do all his/her normal daily activities.

    The patient may need more treatment sessions to achieve the best results. The doctor determines the number of sessions during the consultation. Each session should be a few weeks spaced apart. Usually, it is necessary to have 2 to 3 sessions to improve the appearance of varicose veins with foam sclerotherapy.