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What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins and small varicose veins in your legs. It involves injecting small doses of a chemical into your veins. The chemical irritates the lining of your veins, which causes them to shrink and eventually disappear. Your body redirects blood flow to other veins in your legs.

Sclerotherapy has some risks and potential complications. is only one method used to treat varicose veins. Discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor to understand which options are right for you. 

Medical Reviewers: Daphne E. Hemmings, MD, MPH Last Review Date: Nov 28, 2012

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Medical References

  1. Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=sclerotherapy.
  2. Spider and varicose vein treatment information. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/SpiderAndVaricoseVeinTreatmentInformation.aspx.
  3. Spider Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy). The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures/skin/spider-vein-treatment.
  4. Spider Vein Treatment. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Cosmetic-Procedures/Spider-Veins.html.
  5. Treatment Options. The American College of Phlebology. http://www.phlebology.org/patientinfo/treatment.html.
  6. Varicose Vein Treatment [Transcript]. Johns Hopkins Medicine. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/media/video/transcriptions/varicose_vein_tre....
  7. Varicose veins and spider veins fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.cfm.
  8. What Are Varicose Veins? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vv/.

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