What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that treats spider veins, reticular veins, telangiectasias and star burst blemishes. It involves injecting a chemical solution into the cavity of a blood vessel. This solution causes inflammation of the blood vessel walls resulting in the occlusion of the blood vessels.
Who are good candidates for Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is done for cosmetic purposes, to improve the appearance of spider veins. Healthy people who complain of unsightly superficial veins are ideal candidates for sclerotherapy. Although it is generally safe and effective, sclerotherapy is contraindicated in patients with a medical history significant for deep vein thrombosis and arterial insufficiency. Additionally, sclerotherapy should not be performed on patients who are pregnant, bedridden or severely diabetic.
What to expect during the procedure?
A fine needle is used to slowly inject a solution into the appropriate vein. Some patients may experience mild discomfort at the site of injection. The number of injections depends on the number and size of veins being treated.
The solution, usually in liquid form, works by irritating the lining of the vein, causing it to swell shut and block the flow of blood. The injected veins completely disappear as blood is pushed out by the solution for a few seconds but will reappear when blood flow returns.
What to expect after the procedure?
Contact sports and strenuous activities should be avoided for the first 48 hours. It is not uncommon to experience some cramping in the legs for the first day or two after the treatment. This is temporary and usually does not require any medication.
Patients should be aware that the treated veins will look worse before they begin to look better.
What are the possible side effects of Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy, when performed appropriately by a qualified physician, is a remarkably safe and effective treatment with very minimal risk for complications.
After the procedure, minimal side effects such as bruising, itchiness, swelling, skin discolouration, ulceration or redness around the injection site can be expected. However, these side effects are temporary and gradually subside within a few weeks.
How long does it take to see results?
Patients treated for spider veins, can usually expect to see results in three to six weeks. Larger veins may require three to four months. However, multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the results desired.
Veins that respond to treatment generally don’t come back, but new veins may appear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
Every patient is different, and the number of treatments needed varies depending on the severity of the condition. Typically, 4 treatments are recommended for optimum results and more treatments are required where veins are more numerous and extensive.
How long does sclerotherapy treatment take?
The procedure takes approximately 15-60 minutes, depending on how many veins need to be treated. Treatment is done on an outpatient basis and can even be done during a lunch break.
What type of results are expected?
Sclerotherapy does not yield perfect results, but most veins will lighten and/or disappear. Most patients report a 70%-75% improvement in appearance.
Is sclerotherapy painful?
Just like any other injection, patients may experience a mild pin prick sensation which feels like a mosquito bite when the needle is inserted into the vein.
Most individuals tolerate the procedure and do not require any type of anaesthesia,, though a topical numbing cream can be applied at the patient’s request.
How far apart should sclerotherapy treatments be?
The full effect and benefit of treatment usually take several weeks. For this reason, many sclerotherapy specialists recommend waiting 3-6 weeks in between sclerotherapy treatments.
Are results usually permanent?
Improvement usually lasts long-term in the majority of cases. However, new areas of veins can develop over time. Sclerotherapy does not prevent new veins from appearing in other areas. Occasionally, areas may need re-treatment or “touch-up.”
Before and After Photos
In compliance with MOH guidelines in Singapore, we are not allowed to post before-and-after images on our website and social media platforms. However, we are more than willing to share such images for your perusal during your in-clinic consultation with us.