Illinois Vein Specialists
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Sclerotherapy is a method of closing down veins by the injection of a sclerosant, Sodium Tetradecol. The sclerosant causes inflammation to the inner walls of the vessel and, ultimately, destruction of the lining of the vein causing it to harden and, over time, become reabsorbed by the body and fade away. While most think it is specific to spider veins, we use this method often to treat indwelling and superficial varicose veins as well.

How does sclerotherapy work?

Sclerotherapy works by closing down the unwanted, non-functioning, indwelling, and superficial varicose veins as well as the small spider veins that are at the very surface of the skin. It is the most efficient treatment for veins that are tiny or large. It is performed via injection making those ropey, tortuous varicose veins easier to treat as well as small surface spider veins. There are two types of treatments we offer for Sclerotherapy: Ultrasound-Guided, performed by the physician in which he uses venous ultrasound to see the indwelling varicose veins, and superficial sclerotherapy, performed by our sclerotherapy nurse. Both types are performed after initial treatment with either EVLT or VenaSeal™. Spider veins are considered cosmetic and are usually a stand-alone treatment. 


For superficial veins, veins that are closer to the surface of the skin, the sclerotherapy injections will be administered by a trained Registered Nurse (RN) using our VeinLite® guidance system, a tool we use to target the specific veins which need to be closed. We use different strengths of the sclerosant depending on vein size.

Deeper veins that require larger injections, Dr. Perlmutter will use an ultrasound to guide his injection. This treatment typically requires a higher strength of sclerosant due to the larger vein sizes and locations.

This procedure, along with compression bandages and socks, distributes the medication throughout the vein and aids in vein closure. Over time, the sclerosed vein will be reabsorbed by the body tissue and fade away.

How soon can you expect to see results?

It takes roughly six to eight weeks for the veins to disappear. Over the first 3-4 weeks the veins look worse than prior to treatment. This is normal and over the course of the remaining 3-4 weeks, they slowly fade and go away. Everyone looks worse before they look better. It’s also important to note that depending on vein size some will resolve sooner such as spider veins, and some may take longer as veins that are larger in diameter may take more time to heal. 

How to get the best results with Sclerotherapy

1. Wear compression stockings. They are required for ultimate results post-treatment.

2. Avoid strenuous activity like heavy cardio workouts or heavy lifting with the legs for 48 hours. Immediately after treatment, you will be able to drive yourself home.

3. Don’t take hot baths, soak in a hot tub, or swim in a hot pool for 48 hours. Heat makes the veins dilate and we want them to stay as constricted as possible for the 2 days post-treatment for best results.

Sclerotherapy - Before & After Female Sclerotherapy - Before & After Male

What to know before your Procedure:

1. Do tell Dr. Perlmutter and IVS’ medical team of all medications you are taking.

2. Do not take ibuprofen, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the day of your appointment. 

3. Avoid using lotion on your legs the day of the procedure.

5. Wear loose-fitting clothes.

6. Bring a pair of compression socks to wear after the procedure. They are required to be worn post-treatment.

For more information about treatments for spider veins, including sclerotherapy, check out this blog post here!


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