Sclerotherapy Complications

Doctors at CF Vein's The Villages location performing a Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy for painful leg veins.

What Is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a tried and true method for eliminating painful varicose or unwanted spider veins. It is a non-invasive, generally painless, quick outpatient medical treatment with incredibly high success rates — around 80 to 90%.

Speak With A Specialist

How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

With this treatment, a foam or liquid sclerosant solution is injected into your varicose or spider veins, causing them to scar and close up. Your body will eventually permanently absorb them. 

Sclerotherapy is safe and effective when performed by board-certified surgeons and health care professionals. Treatment usually takes less than an hour and requires minimal downtime for permanent, satisfying results.

What Are The Common Complications & Side Effects Of Sclerotherapy?

Minor Complications After Sclerotherapy

Minor liquid or foam sclerotherapy complications can range from temporary injection site pain and irritation to staining and permanent bruising after sclerotherapy.

  • Pain or irritation: You may experience temporary pain, swelling or itchiness at the injection site. In rare circumstances, you may also experience blistering. If injection site pain persists, seek medical attention as it could indicate a more significant issue. 
  • Headaches or migraines: Foam sclerotherapy treatment could result in air bubbles becoming caught in your bloodstream. These air bubbles may cause visual disturbances, headaches, migraines, nausea or vomiting. 
  • Staining: When a treated vein leaks red blood cells, it can leave a brown, bruise-like stain on your skin. It eventually fades, but the process can take months or occasionally years. 
  • Matting: Telangiectatic matting is a harmless formation of tiny blood vessels that results in a pink, blush-like stain on your skin. It generally fades within a few months to a year but can also be addressed with laser treatment. 
  • Bruising: It is not uncommon to suffer from bruises after sclerotherapy. These bruises can be temporary or permanent.

Serious Complications After Sclerotherapy

Severe complications after sclerotherapy are rare, but they can happen. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Allergic reactions: Anaphylactic reactions are rare, but they can occur. They are more likely to occur with continuous exposure to the sclerosant solution, so even if you’ve previously received sclerotherapy treatment, continue to monitor for reactions. 
  • Ulceration: Ulceration can occur when the sclerosant solution damages arteries near the skin. If you’ve developed an ulcer, seek medical attention right away, as even small ulcers can lead to more serious problems.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots can form inside the treated varicose veins and must be drained immediately to mitigate the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 
  • Deep vein thrombosis: Deep vein thrombosis can happen when an untreated blood clot travels deeper into your veins. A DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms include dizziness, chest pain and coughing up blood.
  • Tissue necrosis: In severe, extremely rare cases, you may experience tissue necrosis, which is the death of skin layers, causing ulcers. Monitor for ongoing pain, inflammation near the injection site or swelling several weeks after your initial treatment. 

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Learn more

Proper safety precautions, excellent physician technique and diligent compliance with the recommended aftercare all reduce the occurrence of adverse side effects after sclerotherapy. 

Schedule a consultation to speak with one of our board-certified surgeons regarding your concerns about receiving liquid or foam sclerotherapy treatment. We’ll address your medical history and answer any questions you may have.

Call us today at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547 to get started. 

Previous ArticleWill Allergies Impact Sclerotherapy? Next ArticleWhat's the Process of Sclerotherapy and Will It Hurt?