It is believed that the obturation procedure of the varicose vein was first used in the 19th century. It was not until 1920 that sclerotherapy began to be used as an alternative method for surgical treatment.
Sclerotherapy is a simple, painless medical procedure used to treat varicose veins and visible superficial vessels like venectasia, reticular veins. It is free of real risks and has guaranteed effectiveness with lasting effects over time.
During this procedure, the vascular surgeon injects a special substance into the vein, which irritates the wall of the vessel, causing it to swell, and the vessel becomes obstructed. Soon, it turns into scar tissue and is then removed.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive method of treatment and addresses small superficial venous dilatation, occurring in the ankles, calves, and thighs, of different aspects: Red, blue, and purple. Sclerotherapy is performed without needed hospitalization, only in the cold season. Before the procedure, a Doppler venous ultrasound is required to map the superficial dilated veins, those with incompetent valves, and those with reflux.
How much does sclerotherapy cost?
The average cost of sclerotherapy ranges between $400 and $600 per session. The cost varies depending on the cost of living in your state and includes the surgeon’s fee. You can always check at the clinic you choose or ask the doctor if there are any promotions or price packages for multiple sessions.
There is also a more advanced procedure of sclerotherapy, with Varithena foam injected slowly, with a cost between $2,000 and $3,000. The price depends on a first evaluation when the doctor can see the size and the number of veins that need to be treated.
Below you will have some other options for sclerotherapy treatment and their costs:
Laser treatment for spider veins has an average price of $350;
Endovenous laser therapy can cost as low as $600 up to $3,000. The cost depends mainly on the number of spider veins that are treated;
ClosureFast Radiofrequency Ablation costs around $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the same factors.
The Secret Vein Clinic says that the price for treating spider veins with sclerotherapy is around $370 in San Diego, with an average of $100 to $500 for a single session, depending on location. The procedure does not need anesthesia and has minimal local discomfort. Here the sclerotherapy cost may include both doctor’s fees and post-procedure garments. If the doctor says you need anesthesia, its price, the facilities, and other expenses are not included in the final cost.
To better understand the price variation depending on the geographic location, here are the prices for sclerotherapy procedures in New York. So, at the Vein Treatment Center in New York the price for multiple injections starts at $550 and can go up to $11,000 depending on the area and how many treatments are needed.
Facial, Breast, or Hand Veins
First Treatment – $1,100
Follow-up Treatments – $750
- Level 1/2: 5 Treatments – $2,250 ($2,750 individually)
- Level 1: 10 Treatments – $4,500 ($5,500 individually)
- Level 2: 15 Treatments – $6,750 ($8,250 individually)
- Level 3: 20 Treatments – $9,000 ($11,000 individually)
Sclerotherapy should always be preceded by a Doppler ultrasound of the lower veins. This will help the doctor determine the severity of vein disease and approximate the number of sclerotherapy sessions. The national average cost for a bilateral Doppler ultrasound, for both arms or legs, is about $770.
Wearing a pair of compression stockings is a well-proven element that increases the effectiveness of the treatment. All surgeons will tell you that must wear them for 3 weeks. According to SigleCare, you can find compression stockings at $52, a price that can go as low as $10 by using coupons.
Besides the Doppler test and compression stockings, you will also need post-treatment anti-inflammatory and sometimes anticoagulant medication, which you will have to pay for.
Factors that influence the cost of sclerotherapy
The number of sessions in the sclerotherapy procedure is not standard, ranging from 4-6 sessions depending on the severity of the spider veins, their diameter, and age. So, the cost is greatly influenced by the number of sessions for optimal results, but also by the treatment chosen.
The other factors that affect the final cost of sclerotherapy are
- Geographical location – medical procedures, and not only, will always be more expensive in bigger cities as there is a higher cost of living.
- Surgeon experience – their experience, training, and specialty will always influence the cost of a procedure, and most likely you will want one of the best.
Does insurance cover the sclerotherapy cost?
Sclerotherapy procedure is considered a cosmetic treatment so it is not covered by medical insurance. In case you have symptoms such as pain or chronic swelling some insurance plans will cover the procedure’s cost. You’ll most likely find out if you ask your insurance provider whether your policy covers spider veins treatment. If it does cover it, expect minimal financial support. For this reason, many clinics and doctors offer all types of treatment packages.
How safe is the sclerotherapy procedure?
Sclerotherapy is a very safe method, but it also has some risks, so it should be done only in certain situations, by specialized doctors. The sclerosing agent has certain concentrations, depending on the diameter of the vein. It should also not exceed a certain amount injected to prevent the risk of adverse effects such as visual problems, dizziness, local skin reactions, hyperpigmentation that occur after the intervention, or even thrombophlebitis. This is why it is advisable to go to an experienced doctor who knows the optimal amount for each case.
Does sclerotherapy hurt?
The procedure is not painless, as it involves some stings. After injection, the area should be bandaged with an elastic waist or compression medical stockings in the case of legs. Some doctors prefer the application of an elastic butt to tighten the injected veins until the next day. Then, you should wear compression stockings for a month after the operation, during the day.
Is there a possibility of recurrence in sclerotherapy?
Sclerosing vessels do not relapse, but the vessels next to them can do so, even if they are not seen initially, which can give a false impression that they have appeared again.
Despite the introduction of more technically advanced methods of treating venous diseases, sclerotherapy is still the most common examination in modern phlebology. Its many advantages, namely minimal pain, rapid recovery of mobility following the procedure, short duration, low risk of nerve damage, low bruising number, and low cost will always make you consider this method so ask the doctor about it.