Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat blood vessels or blood vessel malformations (vascular malformations) and also those of the lymphatic system. A medicine is injected into the vessels, which makes them shrink. It is used for children and young adults with vascular or lymphatic malformations. In adults, sclerotherapy is often used to treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
Sclerotherapy does not require any type of anesthesia and is usually done inside a doctor's office. The patient will be asked to come to the office wearing loose fitting clothing as so the spider or varicose veins can be easily identified. Some may experience minor pain and may request a topical local anesthetic, which can be pasted on the skin about 30 minutes before the procedure. Most patients only feel a little sting after each injection, with a minor burning sensation lasting only a few seconds.
Most patients will wear a compression stocking for a short period after the treatment, in case of any lingering problems with the veins. It is advised to undergo a few treatments (2-4) for best results, depending on the severity of the problem. Some patients might only need 1 or 2 treatments. For multiple spider veins, up to 15-20 injections can be done at each seating. Each session is usually done in monthly intervals.