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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy - Varicose Vein Removal in Northern Virginia*

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Overview

Sclerotherapy, at Mountcastle Plastic Surgery & Vein Institute, is a procedure that is used to permanently and safely remove spider and varicose veins from the legs. Spider veins are the tiny red and purple wavy lines that appear on the legs on both men and women. Many find them to be an unsightly nuisance. Some individuals will have larger veins, known as varicose veins. These are larger, bulkier veins that are blue and purple in color, and can cause pain and discomfort. Both types of veins are hereditary, and will worsen with age if left untreated. After our board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Timothy Mountcastle, removes these veins, sclerotherapy helps to restore the beauty of the skin and allows for greater confidence to wear shorts, dresses or skirts again. For additional information, follow the link below.

Surgical Technique

Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic medical procedure used to treat varicose and spider veins. Our office uses Asclera, an FDA-approved solution for the treatment of spider veins. A tiny needle is used to inject Asclera directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Overtime, the body will absorb the treated vein. Mild discomfort may occur, and a cramping sensation may be felt for 1 to 2 minutes when larger veins are injected. The number of veins injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient’s overall medical condition. Anywhere from one to several sclerotherapy sessions may be needed for any vein region. 

Sclerotherapy is a procedure that will be tweaked for every individual based on the number, size, and location of the veins that are being treated. In most cases, there is usually one injection for every inch of spider vein. As each injection takes place, the surgeon will place light pressure on the injection site with a cotton ball and ointment.

During/After Surgery

Sclerotherapy is performed in an accredited surgical facility. During the procedure, patients will be given a local anesthetic in areas to diminish discomfort, although the patient should only feel a few small pricks. Recovery following vein treatment through sclerotherapy does not require any downtime or absence from the workplace.

Most individuals can resume normal activities within 24 hours. Medically prescribed support hose and/or bandages may need to be worn for several days to several weeks to assist in resolution of the veins. In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months.

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Average Cost  
$300 - $1,500
Procedure Recovery Location  
Out-Patient
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Sclerotherapy FAQs

Is it covered by insurance?

No, sclerotherapy is considered a cosmetic treatment and is not covered by insurance or medicare.

How Much Does it Cost?

The typical cost for sclerotherapy is $300 per treatment session. The first treatment involves an extra $100 cost to cover the special dressings and compression stockings that need to be worn following sessions.

What About Complications?

Complications occur in less than 1% of patients. The most common complication is to have a small dark mark or bruise at the injection site for a while. For most patients these marks fade very quickly, usually within two to three weeks. Some patients develop very tiny veins as a result of sclerotherapy. For most patients these fade quickly and for others very gentle conservative treatment with laser is necessary. Rarely, hyperpigmentation can occur following sclerotherapy. This may be the result of some leakage of blood through the vessel wall at the time of sclerotherapy. Most hyperpigmentation will subside over time. Allergies to sotradecol are rare, but can occur.

Does it Hurt?

Most patients find the treatment slightly uncomfortable but much less so than they had imagined.

Time Between Sessions?

We usually leave 1 month in between sessions to allow time for healing.

Why Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings are used to keep pressure on the area to produce a better result and to increase comfort for the patient. You need to wear these the day of treatment and overnight that night (without removing them). You will then wear them during the day for the next 4 days (total of 5 days). You can remove them at night before going to bed and prior to showering.

How Will My Legs Look?

You will be wearing special dressings and compression stockings. It is a good idea to wear pants or a long skirt for your appointment. It is best if the pants are not too tight or stretchy as the pressure bandages will make your legs look lumpy. The veins do tend to go slightly darker in color before they disappear due to the color of the blood inside the vein as it closes.

How Involved is the Treatment?

Each session typically lasts 30 minutes. Both legs can be treated in one session. Of course, some patients have so many veins that we cannot get to each and every vein in one session.

Are Other Methods Available?

Veinwave – veinwave can be used in along with with sclerotherapy for veins that are smaller in diameter.

Lasers – lasers are not yet at a stage where they are helpful in the treatment of larger leg veins. Lasers are best used for treating abnormal blood vessels on the face, new matting or very fine red surface veins.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?

People differ in the extent of their problem and therefore in the amount of treatment needed. The number of treatments is typically between 3-6 treatments.

Will the Veins Come Back?

Treated veins can sometimes recur. Touch-up treatments will minimize this. The more treatments you have, the better the results will be.

How Effective Is It?

After several treatments (3-6) most patients can expect a 70-90% improvement in the appearance of their legs. Initially, your legs may look worse because of bruising and blood entrapment. The improvement may be very gradual, with some vessels taking up to 2 months to show maximum benefit. Treatments are usually performed monthly, sometimes more regularly.

* All information subject to change. All gallery images contain real patients and are the property of Mountcastle Plastic Surgery & Vein Institute. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.