Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

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Sclerotherapy at RCI

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a widely used adjunct procedure when treating varicose 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 during 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, so 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 determine if you would benefit from sclerotherapy. During an initial consultation, your physician carefully reviews your medical history and examines your veins to map out problem areas. They may recommend an ultrasound to rule out any deeper issues.

How do I make an appointment for sclerotherapy?

To receive an informational packet or set up your initial consultation appointment, call RCI’s Vein & Interventional Clinic at 319-261-0636 or toll free at 800-747-0121.

Schedule Now Using our Contact Form

What can I expect?

Sclerotherapy is performed in our Vein Clinic and takes 30–45 minutes. The number of veins treated per session depends on your medical condition, tolerance to medication and 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.

After your sclerotherapy

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:

  • Brown lines or spots on the skin 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
  • Larger varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving
  • Raised red areas may appear at treatment sites and should disappear within a few days

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 more information on interventional radiology procedures, visit
RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Contact RCI

RCI Imaging Center
1948 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday,
7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 319-364-0121
Toll Free: 800-747-0121
Fax: 319-364-5684

Vein & Interventional Clinic
1948 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday,
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 319-261-0636
Toll Free: 800-747-0121
Fax: 319-364-5684

For billing and
insurance questions:

RCI Business Services
1956 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: 319-832-1735
Toll Free: 800-747-9729
Fax: 319-832-1747

mailing address:

Radiology Consultants of Iowa
PO Box 338
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406