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Sclerotherapy for Reticular veins and Telangiectasia’s  (“spider veins” or “thread veins”)

Treatment of these veins is called injection sclerotherapy. This involves injecting a sclerosant into the veins using tiny needles. The sclerosant essentially irritates the vein walls and causes them to stick to one another and prevent flow through the veins. 

Once the sclerosant is injected the area will be massaged and dressed. Foam sclerotherapy may be used to treat larger veins. This involves mixing air bubbles with the slcerosant and allows more sclerosant to come into contact with the vein wall at a lower concentration.

How many treatments are necessary?

The number of treatments is individualised once your legs have been examined. There is a limit to the amount of injections and sclerosant that can be done per treatment. Usually more than one treatment session is required. There needs to be a 4 to 6 week treatment break of the same area. The opposite leg can be treated within that timeframe if necessary.


You need to have realistic expectations. When sclerosant is injected, the veins disappear (this is often shown on internet videos), however these veins refill with blood once the sclerosant is washed out (this is usually not shown on internet videos). Statistics recorded by the Mayo clinic state that you should expect to see results in 3 to 6 weeks. Larger veins may take up to 3 to 4 months (see below). Studies have shown an overall success rate of 50 - 80 %.

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Room 1521 Christiaan Barnard Hospital, Cape Town, 8001.

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