It is very, very, very important that you have a detailed and open discussion about the true effectiveness of Sclerotherapy, so that you may develop a realistic expectation of the cosmetic outcome from the procedure. Information presented in the following paragraphs should be reviewed in detail during your initial consultation.
Sclerotherapy is not magic. It is far from being 100% effective. Any physician who tells you that “Your spider veins will be all gone before the summer” is not telling you the whole truth. If you can imagine, we the clinicians inject a drug solution into these tiny veins, and we depend on a number of factors for a satisfactory outcome. One is your body’s reaction to these sclerosant agents, which is, after all, a chemical irritant. Another is the local micro-anatomy of these tiny veins, and how they are connected with the underlying larger veins. These are just a couple of factors that determine the outcome. As such, the effectiveness of Sclerotherapy to make the veins disappear is widely variable from patient to patient, and even from various parts of the leg.
Because of these reasons, studies have shown that Sclerotherapy’s effectiveness ranges from 50% to 80%, and up to 10% of patients do not respond. The further down the leg the spider veins are located, the more difficult it seems to eradicate them, such as around the ankle/foot area.