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 12

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

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 25 reviews

Sclero beats laser

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Depends on area treated.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Fast Results Sclerotherapy

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.

Joel Gotvald, MD, FACS
Austin Vascular Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


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 221 reviews

Sclerotherapy is the better treatment

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


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.

Timothy Mountcastle, MD
Ashburn Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Sclerotherapy vs Lasers

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sclerotherapy Remains The Treatment of Choice For Spider Leg Veins

Despite the advent of lasers, sclerotherapy, or the injection of a sclerosing solution to close off unwanted and superfluous spider veins on the legs, is still considered the method of choice. The appearance of one new laser after another, each one supposedly superceding the previous type, is implicit testimony to the fact that laser technology in this (as in many other skin treatment) has hardly been perfected yet

On the other hand, sclerotherapy has stood the test of time, with decades of proven efficacy, and yields fairly consisent and gratifying cosmetic results. Various sclerosing materials are currently available, and the particular one chosen will depend upon the specific areas needing treatment and the experience of the injector. Typically, for best results, two to four treatment sessions are needed per treatment site spaced at monthly intervals. Fees for each treatment may vary from $350-$750/session, depending upon the material used and the size of the area treated.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Sclerotherapy results at 3-4 weeks

Usually it takes about 3-4 weeks after the treatment to see the results. It is recommended to wear compression stockings immediately after the sclerotherapy and continue for at least 3 weeks. During the follow up visit the physician will suggest if additional injections are necessary. Some patient choose to have the sclerotherapy done during the fall and winter months only because of the necessity to wear the compression stockings.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 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.