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Sclerotherapy is the method for eliminating superficial telangiectasias (“spider veins”) and some varicosities by the injection of a solution, called “sclerosing agent, into the veins. The vast majority of patients who have sclerotherapy will have significant clearing of the veins with at least good improvement. There can be no guarantee, however, that it will be effective in every case. Less than 10% of patients undergoing sclerotherapy will have poor results, in which the veins do not improve despite multiple injections. It is extremely rare for anyone’s condition to worsen because of treatment.
It is important to realize that sclerotherapy does not prevent development of new spider veins and varicosities over the years. Many people will require treatments from time to time to keep their legs clear. Standing occupations, pregnancy, and estrogen increase this tendency.
It is difficult to predict the number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition. Each leg area may need to be injected one to five or more times, over a period of several months. Improvement is usually seen over a period of months, not weeks. In each treatment session, multiple areas can be treated, thus reducing the total number of sessions required. The total number of treatment sessions needed depends on the amount and severity of the veins (the average is three to five), with severe cases requiring as many as ten or more.
Sclerotherapy is not covered by your insurance company. When the veins are small, the treatment is considered cosmetic and not covered. Each patient has the responsibility for payment at the time of service, whether or not the treatments are successful.
Asclera® (polidocanol) Injection is a prescription medicine that is used in a procedure called sclerotherapy and is administered by a healthcare provider to treat two types of veins:
Asclera® is a sclerosing agent that is injected into the vein. It works by damaging the endothelium, the cells lining the inside of blood vessels. This causes blood platelets to attach to the lining of the vessels; eventually, cellular debris and platelets cause the blood vessel to clot. Over time, the clotted vein will be replaced with tissue.
1 At 12 and 26 weeks after last injection patients received the digital images of their treatment area taken at baseline and were asked to rate their satisfaction with their treatment using a verbal rating scale, where 1 = very unsatisfied, 2 = somewhat unsatisfied, 3 = slightly satisfied, 4 = satisfied, and 5 = very satisfied.
For two to three days following the treatment, avoid (if you are uncertain, please ask your healthcare provider):
A typical sclerotherapy session lasts 15 to 45 minutes. One injection is usually administered per inch with multiple injections per session. Following treatment compression stockings or support hose should be worn continuously for 2-3 days and for 2-3 weeks during the day time.
Eddy H. Luh, MD, FSVS, RPVI, FACSVascular Surgeon
Dr. Eddy Luh graduated from Cornell University. He then received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Dr. Luh completed his General Surgery residency here in Nevada at the University of Nevada Affiliated Hospitals. He then trained at the world renowned ...