How Soon Should I See Results After Sclerotherapy?

I would like to know how fast will I see results after the Sclerotherapy procedure and after laser treatment? Which among the two is more effective?

Doctor Answers 14

Sclerotherapy is a much better leg vein removal option than laser treatments

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Laser and dermatologic surgeons have been trying to develop lasers to treat leg veins for over 25 years. Lasers sound scientific and sexy but they have never and will never replace or improve upon the results of properly performed sclerotherapy.

Yes, sclerotherapy uses a needle and injects a medicine into the vein. But the newer FDA-approved solutions like Sotradecol™ and Asclera™ are virtually painless and the needles used at the size of a hair. Lasers are VERY expensive and hurt MUCH MORE than injections. Some doctors still use hypertomic saline for the injection and that is VERY painful. I would advise seeing a doctor who ONLY uses FDA-approved sclerotherapy solutions (Saline is only approved to induce abortions!)

While I treat over 500 leg vein patients each year and have over 30 diferent lasers in my office, I only use a laser maybe 5 times a year for leg veins. When I choose to use a laser, it is to clean up any tiny veins that have not responded to sclerotherapy.


San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sclero beats laser

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Sclerotherapy is more effective than laser treatments.  Generally, it can take 2-3 treatments about a month apart for best results, but patients often see a big improvement after the first treatment.  Solutions like Asclera make the procedure very well tolerated and virtually painless. 

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

Clearing after sclerotherapy

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Clearing of veins after sclerotherapy varies from patient to patient, but in general someone who is younger will respond much faster then the older patient.  Ninety percent of my patients need at least three treatments, usually 3 to six weeks apart. I tell my patients that it will usually look worse after the first treatment, and most of the time you will notice the beginning of significant clearing after the second treatment. Some patients may need many more treatments, depending on the size and number of veins. Most patients continue to improve for two to three months after their last treatment. Sclerotherapy when performed by an experienced phlebologist should give you excellent cosmetic results. Laser is usually not successful for leg veins, and if used, should only be used after initial sclerotherapy to treat the underlying feeding veins.

J. Michael Leary, MD
Newport Beach Physician

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Sclero versus laser

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I have found sclerotherapy to be a better treatment for treatment of veins. It usually takes about 4-6 weeks for the treated area to completely heal. During this time it is important to wear compression stockings for two weeks post treatment and avoid the sun to minimize the occurrence of hyperpigmentation.

Depends on area treated.

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In general, sclerotherapy works best on leg veins and laser for leg veins is used for the smaller veins into which a needle could not be inserted. On the face, laser may work better than sclerotherapy depending on the size of the vein treated. Following both procedures there will be some immediate improvement but most improvement will take up to 6 weeks and some veins will not resolve and need to be retreated.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

Fast Results Sclerotherapy

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Sclerotherapy is considered to be more effective for spider veins of the legs, while laser or thermocoagulation is more effective on the face.  You tend to see results sooner with face vein treatment.  Both treatments require at least a couple of weeks to begin seeing results, but it can take months before the final results become apparent.  Although the treatments cause immediate destruction / killing of the veins, the patient's body them has to absorb the "dead" veins and the trapped blood within the veins, which takes some time.  In general, the larger the treated veins the longer it will take for them to aborb and fade. Spider veins disappear faster than reticular or spider veins.  Since some of the veins may not be destroyed by the initial treatment, it is not usual to need more than one session for either sclerotherapy or laser.

Sclerotherapy

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It may take 2-3 sclerotherapy treatments or possibly more depending on the individual to see best results.  Often times the most improvement is seen after the first treatment. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Sclerotherapy is the better treatment

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Improvement from sclerotherapy may be as soon as 1-2 months after treatment, but it may take longer even up to 6 months or more. Most experts in treatment of varicose venuels, spider veins and other unwanted thigh and leg vessels generally agree that sclerotherapy (injection of the veins with a solution that causes the vessel walls to be become irritated and ultimately stick together not allowing blood to pass through them) is the superior technique.

They agree that laser treatment of vessels works better with facial vessels of all sorts.

Peter Goldman, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon

Results

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In my practice it typically takes between 3-5 sessions to see results.

compression stockings are important in the post operative period to help collapse the veins.

Sclerotherapy vs Lasers

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I believe that sclerotherapy is still the gold standard for treatment of leg veins.

In my office, we use lasers to treat smaller facial veins.

Treated veins take on a darker color after treatment which fades very slowly over several months so it's hard to see the improvement at first. Even after a few months there may still be "shadows" in the skin outlining the treated veins that continue to fade and may take 6 months to a year to fully resolve.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 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.