OB-GYN Associates

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins at RCI

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a widely used cosmetic treatment for non-painful varicose and spider veins. A solution is injected into the vein and irritates the lining of the vein. The blood then clots as the vein swells and sticks together. The vein will fade and disappear as it turns into scar tissue over the next few weeks or months (depending on the size of the vein).

Smaller spider veins typically take 3-6 weeks to become lighter or disappear, while larger veins may take as long as 3-4 months. Some veins may require more than one treatment to achieve your expected outcome—typically 50-80% of your treated veins will be eliminated per session. And while veins will not reappear, the treatment will not prevent new veins from appearing. Therefore you may need to return for future treatments.

A small number of patients do not respond to the injections at all and may require a different solution or method to achieve their desired outcome.

Who is a candidate for sclerotherapy?

RCI’s interventional radiologists will help you determine if you will benefit from sclerotherapy. During an initial consultation, our physician carefully reviews your medical history and examines your veins to map out problem areas. We may recommend an ultrasound to rule out any deeper issues.

The saphenous vein and other veins that may be considered usable for future surgical bypass procedures may not be considered for injection. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be advised to wait 3-4 months after pregnancy—not only because it is not known how the sclerosing solutions interact with breast milk, but because many veins that appear during pregnancy will disappear on their own.

How do I make an appointment for sclerotherapy at RCI?

It’s easy to find top-of-the-line sclerotherapy right here in Cedar Rapids. To receive an information packet from the RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic, or to set up your initial consultation appointment, please call:

RCI Vein & Interventional Clinic: 319-261-0636
Toll Free: 800-747-0121

What can I expect?

Sclerotherapy is performed in our Vein Clinic and takes 30-45 minutes to complete. The number of veins treated per session depends on your medical condition, tolerance to the medication and the size and location of the veins being treated. A syringe with a tiny needle is used to inject a small amount of sclerosing solution directly into your vein. You may experience some mild stinging, burning and/or an itching sensation after the sclerosing agent is injected into the vein.

After your sclerotherapy at RCI

You will be able to drive and resume regular activities after the treatment, and you are encouraged to walk. Expect to have minimal to mild pain, bruising, cramping and swelling for the first 24 hours after therapy.

Some patients experience the following side effects after sclerotherapy:

  • Larger varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving
  • Raised red areas may appear at the treatment sites and should disappear within a few days
  • Brown lines or spots on the skin may be noted at the site of the injection, possibly caused by a form of iron that escapes from the injected veins. In most cases, they disappear within 3-6 months, but can be permanent about 5% of the time
  • Bruising may occur around the injection site and can last several days or weeks

All of our interventional radiologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology with Certificates of Advanced Qualification (CAQs) in vascular and interventional radiology. They are members of the Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR).

For further information on these and other interventional radiology procedures, visit www.sirweb.org

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RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Questions? Comments? Need to schedule an appointment? Contact us at 319-261-0636

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