Sclerotherapy is a method, along with surgery, radio frequency and laser ablation, for treatment of superficial venous system disease. Sclerotherapy has been used in the treatment of varicose veins for over 150 years, and involves a medicine being injected into the vessels, causing them to shrink and be reabsorbed by the body over a period of several weeks. Sclerotherapy is the "gold standard" and is preferred over laser and other therapies because it allows identification and treatment of the larger "feeder veins" as well as elimination of spider veins (telangiectasiae). The ability of the sclerosing solution to close the "feeder veins" under the skin that are causing the spider veins makes a recurrence of the spider veins in the treated area less likely. Although multiple injections of dilute sclerosant are introduced into the abnormal surface veins of the involved leg, this method is better tolerated and is less painful than laser treatments. For recurrent venous disease, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is used to specifically target re-canalized portions of diseased veins.
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