Treating Varicose Veins and Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy

Think spider veins or varicose veins are an inevitable sign of aging that you have to live with? Think again. Treatments are available at Atlanta-based Vein Center of Northwest Georgia to completely remove the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins from the skin. One such treatment is sclerotherapy.

What is sclerotherapy?

During sclerotherapy, a solution that will irritate the lining of the blood vessel is injected into the visible spider or varicose vein. When the lining is irritated, the vein will swell and stick together and the blood will clot. Scar tissue will then develop in the area, causing the vein to fade within a few weeks or months.

Sclerotherapy at Vein Center of Northwest Georgia - Before Spider Vein Treatment

The blue/purple line on the patient’s thigh is a typical spider vein

Sclerotherapy at Vein Center of Northwest Georgia - Vein Light

Using a special light, Dr. Perry is able to accurately administer the sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy at Vein Center of Northwest Georgia - After Spider Vein Treatment

After sclerotherapy the spider vein is barely visible. It will eventually disappear completely.


During sclerotherapy, a sterile solution is injected into spider veins. In most cases Dr. Perry uses sotradecol, or sodium tetradecyl sulfate, a sclerosing agent that causes inflammation of the lining of blood vessels and the formation of blood clots when injected. This will result in the formation of scar tissue and resulting partial or complete obliteration of the spider vein. The fading or disappearance of spider veins that have been injected with sotradecol may be permanent or temporary.

Sotradecol is not used in patients who have:

  • previous hypersensitivity reactions to the drug;
  • acute superficial thrombophlebitis;
  • valvular or deep vein incompetence;
  • huge superficial veins with wide open communications to deeper veins;
  • phlebitis migrans;
  • acute cellulites;
  • allergic conditions;
  • acute infections;
  • varicosities caused by abdominal and pelvic tumors unless the tumor has been removed;
  • such uncontrolled systemic diseases as diabetes, toxic hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, asthma, neoplasm, sepsis, blood dyscrasias and acute respiratory or skin diseases.

Sotradecol is an effective treatment for small, uncomplicated varicose veins in the legs that show simple dilation with competent valves.

Side Effects of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is generally well tolerated in the majority of patients and side effects are usually mild and easily treated.

Side effects of sclerotherapy may include:

  • Stinging or burning at the injection sites
  • Swelling of the ankles of feet
  • Muscle Craps
  • Hive-like response at injection sites
  • Brown lines or spots the sites of treated blood vessels, which generally disappear in time
  • Bruising
  • Allergic reaction to sclerosing solutions
  • Inflammation of treated blood vessels

If you notice any of these side effects, contact Dr. Perry immediately. Many of these side effects are temporary, but some may require additional treatment.

In most cases, sclerotherapy is considered a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by health insurance. If you have a history or increased risk of blood clots because of other medical conditions, talk to your doctor about these risks before having sclerotherapy. You may still be able to have the treatment, but additional precautions may be necessary to prevent dangerous blood clots during or after the procedure.