Sclerotherapy refers to injections of a sclerosing (irritating) liquid into varicose or spider veins using tiny needles. The solution pushes the blood out of the vein, initially causing it to blanch (turn pale). The vein collapses, closes down and then disappears over time. It is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed in clinic without anesthesia, and most patients experience pleasing results. In very rare cases, conditions may become worse after treatment. Spider veins may reappear in some patients after treatments, and approximately 10% of veins treated persist after multiple treatments. Additional treatments may be required. Some veins do not respond to sclerotherapy, and new spider veins can develop near the site of a previous injection.
After several treatments most patients can expect 50-90% improvement. However, fading is gradual, usually over several months, with complete disappearance achieved in most cases. The number of treatments will vary for each patient, depending on the size and number of veins involved. Several veins can be injected at each session. One to six treatments may be needed, but the average is three to four. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient and agreed upon by the patient and the vein specialist.
Offering injection based therapies for spider veins, laser treatments for troubling skin conditions, minimally invasive approaches to varicose vein removal and more, UAB Medicine physicians provide non-surgical options for a variety of vascular and dermatologic concerns.
Our vascular specialists and dermatologists are renowned medical experts, specially trained and certified to care for the full spectrum of conditions, from cosmetic to more complex vein and skin disorders.
As Alabama’s premier comprehensive vein center, The UAB Vein Clinic, located at UAB Hospital-Highlands, provides outpatient care, while more intensive treatment is provided at UAB Hospital. UAB Cosmetic Dermatology sees patients at the Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital.
When you choose UAB Medicine to care for your vein and skin conditions, you gain instant access to the region’s most experienced providers who are leaders, offering compassionate care and the latest in cutting-edge treatment options.
Images and Videos
Dr. Marc Passman discusses how to prevent spider and varicose veins and what treatment options are available.
Spider & Varicose Veins: Insights into an Unsightly Problem
Watch "Spider & Varicose Veins - Insights Into an Unsightly Problem", a webinar hosted by Dr. Marc Passman, director of the UAB Vein Clinic. If you struggle with spider or varicose veins, this webinar is for you!
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials