Cosmetic Sclerotherapy

Cosmetic Sclerotherapy

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a technique that involves the use of a very fine needle to inject a solution into the veins. The solution causes the lining of the vein wall to scar down and close. With the closure, the veins fade over 2-3 months. Most patients experience 60-80% fading with initial injections, although final results may not be apparent for several months. Some veins may require more than one injection to achieve the desired fading.


Sclerotherapy Information

How do I know if my concerns are cosmetic or medical?

People with venous disease will have symptoms that worsen as the day progresses and improve with leg elevation and compression stockings. These symptoms may include:

  • Aching or pain in the legs
  • Swelling
  • Open sores or areas of skin discoloration
  • Itching or burning
  • Throbbing or leg cramps

If you have any of these symptoms, you may consider being evaluated for venous insufficiency with an ultrasound of your legs and a physician consultation.

How many treatments or sessions of cosmetic sclerotherapy will I need?

Typically, 2-4 treatments are needed. This will be determined at your initial examination with the nurse. Each treatment will last about 45 minutes.

Does sclerotherapy hurt?

During sclerotherapy, a very fine needle is used to inject the medication. Typically, people do not feel the medicine going in. A brief period of itching and burning is sometimes experienced following an injection. This is caused by the inflammation that the medication causes in the vein. This lasts for a few moments.

Spider Veins

What happens after the injections?

Immediately following the sclerotherapy procedure, you will put on compression stockings to wear overnight the first night. Compression stockings will be worn during daytime hours for one week. It is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity or prolonged periods of standing for one week. Resuming your normal activities and walking are encouraged, starting immediately after injections. No direct sun exposure for two weeks after the injections.

Four weeks after the injections, you may be instructed to return to the clinic for an appointment to look for trapped blood that may need to be expressed. This is done to improve your overall results.

For several weeks following the injections, the treated veins will look worse before they look better. As the veins scar and close, they look dark and bruised. Depending on how big the veins are to be treated, fading will continue over 2-4 months. The rate of healing
or disappearance varies from person to person. Some veins may require additional injections.

Spider Veins Cosmetic

What are the risks of sclerotherapy?

On occasion, people having sclerotherapy can develop a small patch of new red veins in the area where other veins were treated. This is called matting. Matting is the result of the blood being redistributed from the vein that is being closed. Trapped blood that sits in the vein during the reabsorption process can stain the skin. This staining is called hyperpigmentation. This process can cause a darkening of the skin over the closed vein that can take up to 6 months to resolve. Other rare risks include blood clots forming in deep veins, skin ulcerations, or allergic reactions to the medication.

Is cosmetic sclerotherapy covered by insurance?

Venous insufficiency and varicose vein treatment are covered by insurance. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is not covered by insurance. Some flex spending plans will allow the use of those dollars for cosmetic sclerotherapy, but you should check for specific restrictions against this prior to your appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

When you’re ready to say goodbye to unsightly swollen veins, schedule a consultation with the Minneapolis Vein Center team to explore the possibilities available through sclerotherapy.