Sclerotherapy Can Reduce or Eliminate Varicose and Spider Veins

Sclerotherapy at our Oklahoma City, OK, office is a quick, non-invasive treatment that can dramatically improve varicose veins and spider veins. To perform this procedure, Dr. James B. Lowe injects the treatment area with a special solution that will cause the unwanted veins to visibly fade. In addition to cosmetic improvement, sclerotherapy can improve symptoms related to varicose veins, such as aching and swelling. Our Oklahoma City plastic surgery office uses advanced techniques while focusing on personalized care to ensure both your comfort and treatment satisfaction. 

In addition to cosmetic improvement, sclerotherapy can improve symptoms related to varicose veins, such as aching and swelling.

Causes and Risk Factors

Varicose veins are dilated veins that form in the legs close to the surface of the skin. They develop when the valves in your veins weaken, causing blood to flow backward and collect in your veins. As the blood builds up, the veins develop a rope-like, deeply colored appearance, and they can protrude visibly through the skin. Although sclerotherapy can treat both varicose veins and spider veins, they are not the same thing. Spider veins are small, thin blood vessels that are visible under the skin. They have a wispy, web-like appearance and are usually harmless. However, spider veins can be a symptom of poor circulation and of varicose vein formation. 

Varicose veins are extremely common, and anyone can develop them. However, they are more likely to affect you if you are a woman, overweight, a smoker, or spend a lot of time on your feet or a lot of time sitting. Pregnancy, menopause, and genetics can also increase your risk. It is not uncommon to develop both varicose veins and spider veins.

Candidates for Sclerotherapy

Patients have their varicose and spider veins treated to improve their appearance, but also to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. Cramping, burning, throbbing, and restless or tired legs are some of the symptoms associated with varicose veins and sometimes with spider veins.  To qualify for sclerotherapy, you should be in good general health with no blood or bone disorders. You should not undergo sclerotherapy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

A hand-held device applied to the skin to treat a varicose vein

During sclerotherapy, Dr. Lowe will use an ultra-fine needle to inject the treatment area with sclerosing solution. The solution will cause the lining of the veins to thicken so clots will form. Eventually, the clots will change to scar tissue, and the veins will gradually fade. Each injection will target about a square inch of skin, and the number of injections depends on the size and number of the veins. On average, the entire procedure will take about half an hour. Wearing compression bandages or stockings after the procedure will augment the healing process. You may require additional treatments to achieve optimal results.

Risks and Benefits of Sclerotherapy

Because sclerotherapy is a non-invasive procedure, it is considered to be very safe. Nevertheless, all medical procedures carry some risks. Side effects of sclerotherapy can include bruising, red areas, small sores, and changes in skin pigmentation at the treatment site. These should diminish within a few weeks. Serious side effects are much less common, but can include inflammation, blood clots, and allergic reactions.

Sclerotherapy has a high overall success rate for eliminating treated veins. It usually involves minimal discomfort, and most patients do not even require local anesthesia. Sclerotherapy involves little downtime. Typically, you can return to your regular activities the next day, and you should engage in moderate exercise to improve blood circulation. For small varicose veins or spider veins, you can expect to see results in only about three to six weeks. Larger veins take longer, but results should be apparent within three to four months. When your varicose and spider veins fade significantly or disappear, you are likely to feel much better about your appearance. Any symptoms related to the treated veins should also be relieved.

Contact Us for More Information

We are proud to offer state-of-the-art services in a convenient, comfortable office, and our dedicated staff is honored to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Contact Lowe Plastic Surgery to learn more about sclerotherapy and to find out if it is right for you.

James B. Lowe, MD, FACS

Lowe Plastic Surgery

Dr. Lowe is a triple board-certified surgeon with over 20 years of experience providing comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive care. He is affiliated with several prestigious organizations:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Fellow, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons 
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand 

Schedule your consultation by contacting us online or calling us at (405) 942-4300.

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