Is It Safe to Get Sclerotherapy at a Med Spa?

I recently purchased a vein treatment package at a med spa that includes 2 sclerotherapy treatments and 2 laser treatments. I'm now having buyer's remorse and am wondering if it's even safe to get a procedure like sclerotherapy done at a cosmetic med spa. I don't really feel like the people at the med spa know me (and they've barely even looked at my legs!). Am I right in worrying that I should be seeing a dermatologist or vein specialist for this procedure?

Doctor Answers (13)

Sclerotherapy by Experienced Providers

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Sclerotherapy is an art in of itself. Medical judgement and expertise is necessary to determine if the injection is purely for cosmetic reasons or for underlying medical venous disease or BOTH. 

Seek a Board Certified Physician who has certification from the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. 


Buffalo General Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sclerotherapy is safe in the hands of a licensed professional.

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Whether the treatment takes place in a dermatologist’s office or licensed medical spa, the safety and efficacy of sclerotherapy depends upon the knowledge and skill of the administering practitioner. You need to go for a consultation, and select a practitioner based on his or her credentials as well as the level of trust inspired. Expect to be given a thorough examination by the administering physician or PA who specializes in vascular conditions. I’d also suggest you ask to see before and after photos of actual patients before you make your decision.

 

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Sclerotherapy options at a med spa in Los Angeles

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The safety of sclerotherapy really depends on the expertise of the injector and the underlying reason you are getting sclerotherapy.  A board certified vein surgeon will always be your best bet.  

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

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Sclerotherapy At Med Spa

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Sclerotherapy, and any vein removal treatments for that matter, should always be performed by a board certified dermatologist, as they have the highest level of knowledge necessary to carry out the procedure in a safe and effective way. As a pioneer of sclerotherapy and double board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with a reputable dermatologist before having your injections at a MedSpa. We NEVER sell a “package” for any medical procedure, because, if performed properly, only one procedure is necessary. I have found that lasers are only effective for the smallest veins and then only after sclerotherapy. In my experience, less than 1% of all leg vein patients require a laser treatment. While a “package” might sound like a good deal, I have found that you “get what you pay for.”

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Sclerotherapy, vein treatment

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Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure and should be performed by trained personnel-either a physician or a physician's assistant under the guidance of the physician.  There is overlap in physicians who perform sclerotherapy including vein specialists, vascular surgeons, dermatologists and plastic surgeons. In addition to this, before undergoing sclerotherapy you should first be certain that this is the ideal procedure for you and, in order to determine that, you should be evaluated by a physician.  Therefore, the short answer is that you should NOT have sclerotherapy in a med spa unless done by a  physician trained in vein treatment.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sclerotherapy and medspas

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Sclerotherapy is a very effective treatment for small to medium varicose veins. That being said, a number of side effects can occur with treatments, including: allergic reactions, hyperpigmentation, matting of vessels, ulceration, and blood clots.  Although these side effects are uncommon, it is always advisable to have injections of any kind performed by a board certified physician with cosmetic experience, such as a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or vascular surgeon. 

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

Sclerotherapy Treatment Should be Performed by a Highly Trained Dermatologist

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Sclerotherapy treatment should be performed by a highly trained dermatologist.  At Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists, we combine injections (sclerotherapy) with the use of lasers to treat veins of various sizes. Blue veins are typically treated with sclerotherapy; smaller red ones are often treated with an Nd:YAG or other lasers. Larger varicose veins are often treated with an endovenous laser approach. 

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Med Spa Spider Vein Treatments

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In the era of Groupon and other internet-based discount sites, it is not uncommon to see advertisements by "med-spas" for inexpensive skin treatments, including spider vein treatments.  As a vein specialist, what I have seen is an increasing influx of patients seeing me after their med spa experience, dissatisfied with their results. The main complaints are either lack of response to the treatments, or skin side effects from the treatment.  And it seems to always be the same story, regardless if whether sclerotherapy, laser therapy, or another vein treatment was tried.  What I always preach is that you get what you pay for.  I would suggest that you seek out a vein specialist who does primarily cosmetic vein treatments.  I would also check to make sure that the physician is actually going to be doing the treatments, not a medical assistant or nurse (as their level of experience and abilities is unpredictable). I hope that was a helpful answer.

Joel Gotvald, MD, FACS
Austin General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sclerotherapy

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I would highly recommend that you see a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, vascular surgeon for an evaluation and treatment for your leg veins.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Sclerotherapy at a med spa

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Thank you for your question about having sclerotherapy at a med-spa.

  • You are rightly concerned about sclerotherapy at a med-spa.
  • See a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or physician vein specialist.
  • Even in the best hands, skin damage and allergic reactions are  possible.
  • Injections belong in physicians' offices - for lots of reasons.
  • Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.