Font Size: Increase | Decrease

How effective is sclerotherapy for removing varicose veins?

This question was asked in Manhattan, New York and has 4 answer(s) as of 07/27/2012.
How effective is the sclerotherapy operation for removing varicose veins? Do the veins come back very often or do there have to be repeat operations?


Doctors Answers (4)

In sclerotherapy, a tiny needle is used to inject veins with a solution that irritates the lining of the vein wall. Blood within the veins harden, (sclerose), and in response, the veins collapse and are reabsorbed. If sclerotherapy is done properly with someone with years of experience, it is very effective in eliminating both tiny spider veins and larger varicose veins. The veins which have been successfully sclerosed do not return; however, new veins can and usually do develop over time as part of the disease process. Most individuals will require periodic maintenance treatments as these new veins develop.

Sclerotherapy can be extremely effective, but the response depends on the size of the targeted vessels, the underlying problems, and the method of administration. It also depends on the skill and experience of the operator. Will therapy need to be repeated? The short answer is yes. Generally, new varicose veins do form, even after successful treatment. However, the durability of your result is enhanced by treating the varicose veins as fully as possible.

Sclerotherapy is very effective for treating varicose veins when performed by an expert. While the same veins rarely recur, new ones will appear over time, so there is no cure. However, if the surface varicosity is due to underlying saphenous vein reflux, the deeper saphenous vein must first be treated for a more durable result.

First, I must clarify that sclerotherapy does not actually remove varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is actually injection therapy where a solution is injected directly into the varicose vein, the vein wall is irritated and with the use of compression after the injections, the vein closes. If the vein was initially visible on the surface of the skin, after sclerotherapy, the vein should close and not be visible anymore. Usually the smaller the vein, the higher the chance of it closing and staying closed. Occasionally, larger veins may need repeat injections to close them completely. Once a vein is closed and healed, it usually doesn't re-open, however, other nearby veins may eventually become abnormal and require treatment.

Disclaimer: The information found on this website is intended to be general medical information; it is not a medical diagnosis or medical advice. Specific medical advice can only be given with full knowledge of all of the facts and circumstances of your health situation. You should seek consultation with a doctor familiar with your medical condition. Posting a question on this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public; do not include confidential information in your question.