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Sclerotherapy – Procedure, Recovery, and Side effects!

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure to remove damaged or collapsed veins like varicose or spider veins using a sclerosant agent. Varicose veins or spider veins are formed mainly in the legs or hands when the valve responsible for blood flow to the heart gets damaged. This causes the blood to get collected in the vein and sometimes causes discomfort and pain. Many people do sclerotherapy for cosmetic reasons like improving the appearance of their legs.

One may choose sclerotherapy for various medical purposes other than for varicose or spider veins. These include treatment of venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids if other treatments do not work, malformed lymph vessels, and hydroceles. Sclerotherapy has a high rate of effectiveness.

Additionally, one needs to consult their doctor or a vein specialist if they are interested in sclerotherapy. Vein specialists in New York, NY, like Elite veins, NY have trained and experienced specialists that can guide you through the process of sclerotherapy. 


Before the procedure, the doctor may tell you to avoid some medication like ibuprofen. You must also avoid applying lotions and oils to the affected area. Shaving is also avoided to reduce irritation. 

Sclerotherapy takes around 15 to 60 minutes, depending upon the quantity of collapsed veins.

The process involves the use of a sclerosant that may be a liquid or a foam. The most commonly used sclerosants are polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, and hypertonic saline solution.

The sclerosant is directly injected into the damaged vein visible using injection. However, your doctor may suggest you do an ultrasound before the procedure to determine the size of the damaged vein. 

The sclerosing agent will shrink the walls of vessels leading to disruption of a vessel, which will get absorbed later, and their appearance will disappear in time. 


  1. You can perform your day-to-day activities after the procedure. However, your doctor may consult you to wear compression stockings or socks all day for at least 24 hours, followed by wearing them only during the day.
  2. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen should be avoided for a few days.
  3. Avoid taking hot showers and saunas. Also, try to avoid sunlight for at least two days. 
  4. Stay active without doing heavy exercising to avoid the formation of blood clots. 

Side effects

  1. Bruising, swelling, stinging, and raised red skin at the injection site for a few days. 
  2. You may experience discomfort and hyperpigmentation.
  3. Spots or brown lines may appear around the treated area.
  4. Allergic reactions to the sclerosing agents may cause serious harm.
  5. Rare side effects like the formation of blood clots and ulceration should be checked up by a doctor.