What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment of varicose or spider veins involving the injection of a hypertonic saline solution into the enlarged vessels. The hypertonic saline solution causes irritation in the lumen of the blood vessel causing it to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body.

What solution is injected into the veins?

Dr. Mahoney uses a hypertonic saline or salt solution ranging in concentration from 12-23% depending on the size of the blood vessels.


What size veins can be treated?

Typically, sclerotherapy works well on small to medium sized varicose or spider veins. Larger bulging varicose veins usually require surgical removal or ligation methods. Very small spider veins may require laser treatments following sclerotherapy to completely clear.

How many treatments will be required?

Dr. Mahoney will inject as many veins on both legs as time allows during a 45 minute session. Depending on the number of veins and their locations, multiple sessions (1-3) may be required to clear all the varicose veins. Some vessels must be injected repeatedly before they resolve completely.

Does it hurt?

The injections are performed with a very small needle which causes minimal discomfort. You will feel a stinging or cramping sensation during the injections because the hypertonic saline solution aggravates the blood vessel. Dr. Mahoney neutralizes the saline solution immediately after each injection to stop any further discomfort.

Are there any side effects?

You will have small areas of bruising at each injection site which can last for 2-6 weeks. We recommend that you plan for this treatment when you can have your legs covered for 2 to 4 weeks – usually in the fall, winter or early spring.


Do I need to wear stockings after treatment?

We recommend wearing full support stockings for the initial 72-96 hours after treatment. We recommend that you bring these stockings at the time of treatment so they can be worn immediately following treatment.

Will the veins come back?

The treated veins should not come back but because the tendency to develop varicose veins is genetic, you may develop additional veins in the future. This likelihood will be further increased if you become pregnant or continue counterproductive activities such as crossing legs or frequent high heel use.