sclerotherapy(varicose leg veins)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Injection sclerotherapy is indicated for small, disfiguring varicose veins below the knee. It is done as an outpatient procedure.

The affected veins are injected with a sclerosant such as 1-3% sodium tetradecyl sulphate. Compressive bandages are worn for 1-6 weeks to enable fibrosis to occur. Recurrences are treated by further injections.

Injection sclerotherapy is not advised:

  • for major varicosities, particularly in the thigh, because of the danger of causing thrombosis in femoral or popliteal deep veins
  • in patient's with acute infective thrombophlebitis or a pre-existing deep thrombus
  • in women who are pregnant or taking the combined oral contraceptive pill