Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Sclerotherapy facts
- What is sclerotherapy?
- Is sclerotherapy safe?
- Does sclerotherapy hurt?
- Is sclerotherapy an effective treatment for varicose veins and spider veins?
- Who is a good candidate for sclerotherapy?
- How do people prepare for the sclerotherapy procedure?
- How are sclerotherapy injections administered?
- What is the recovery time for sclerotherapy?
- What aftercare is needed following a sclerotherapy procedure?
- What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?
- What are risks, side effects, and complications of sclerotherapy?
- Does insurance cover the cost of sclerotherapy?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
How are sclerotherapy injections administered?
There are now two FDA-approved sclerosants available, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (a detergent) and polidocanol (Asclera). For small veins, hypertonic saline is occasionally used. Depending on the size of the vein to be treated, the sclerosant may be administered as foam. A needle of the appropriate caliber is inserted into the vessel to be treated, and the chemical is injected.
What is the recovery time for sclerotherapy?
This is an outpatient procedure and the patient leaves the office on the same day of treatment.
What aftercare is needed following a sclerotherapy procedure?
Patients should wear compression dressings for one to three weeks after treatment. A follow-up visit within two weeks to enable the evacuation of blood clots in larger veins can improve the prognosis and the appearance.
What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?
For patients with venous insufficiency, treatment can be beneficial by improving venous blood flow and limiting chronic swelling. For those with cosmetic complaints, their appearance can be improved.
What are risks, side effects, and complications of sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy risks, side effects, and complications include hyperpigmentation, temporary swelling, capillary dilation (telangiectatic matting), pain from the injection, localized hives, tape compression blister, tape compression folliculitis, and recurrence, vasovagal reflex, localized hair growth (hirsutism), skin death (cutaneous necrosis), allergic reaction, superficial thrombophlebitis, arterial injection, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, nerve damage, and migraine headaches.
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