Sclerotherapy is a treatment technique for smaller, tortuous, more superficial bulging or spider veins.
Endovenous laser ablation is a treatment that may be used to treat problematic, larger branches of the superficial venous system. Smaller, tortuous, more superficial bulging or spider veins require a different technique, namely sclerotherapy. During such treatments, a chemical solution is gently injected into the vein. If the veins are larger and farther below the skin surface, Dr Rosen may use ultrasound guidance to help target such injections. For small superficial veins, specialized lighting and magnifying lenses are used.
A sclerotherapy session typically lasts 30 minutes. The injected chemical is sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS): a mild, dilute, sterile medical detergent. STS causes the veins to shrink and ultimately get resorbed by the body. It has been used worldwide since the 1940s as it is highly effective and side effects are very rare. Dr Rosen will explain the risks and benefits to you prior to the procedure.