Schlerotherapy represents the procedure of removing middle-sized or bigger leg capillaries and also the removal of mildly widened varicose veins by injecting the variety of fluids or foam. The method of schlerotherapy has been used for decades, and even though the laser technology develops on a daily basis it is still the gold standard for treating varicose capillaries.

Visibly oversized leg capillaries are actually the damaged blood vessels that bare no function in nutrition of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, so their removal does not threaten the process of circulation. Also, the oversized capillaries on the legs represent only a cosmetic problem and they very rarely cause the burning sensation or pain on the skin.

What does schlerotherapy look like?

The procedure of schlerotherapy consists of injecting the active substance into the blood vessel by a needle that has a smaller diameter than the diameter of the blood vessel. During the procedure there is no pain, and very rarely patients experience a burning sensation.

After the injection of the substance for schlerotherapy, the capillary vanishes for several minutes and then a mild inflammation occurs in the inner cell walls of the capillary. Because of the inflammation, the treated capillaries look slightly worse than they looked before the treatment and it usually lasts 7 to 10 days following the first treatment.

When schlerotherapy is finished, compression of the treated capillaries is very important because it helps the process of gluing the inflamed vessel walls. In the next 4 to 6 weeks the organism naturally dissolves the remaining cells of the treated capillaries. After schlerotherapy is done, the capillary does not appear on that same spot.

How many schlerotherapy treatments are needed?

The number of schlerotherapy treatments is individual. Sometimes one or two treatments are enough, and in some cases schlerotherapy is combined with laser therapy or radiowave removal of the capillaries. All of the procedures above can be done in our office.

What are the possible setbacks during schlerotherapy?

Pigmentation may occur on the spot where the blood vessel is closed and it usually lasts for several months until the organism dissolves the blood vessel cells fully.

The possibility of thrombosis can happen with schlerotherapy of the veins, while with schlerotherapy of the capillaries that possibility does not exist.

The most severe setback is the creation of wounds on the skin surface where the substance was injected and it happens when the fluid exits the blood vessel and enters the surrounding tissue. It is a rare occasion when hyperosmolar solutions are used.

Ever since the foam was introduced in schlerotherapy, the occurrence of this problem is reduced to a minimum. In our office, the schlerotherapy treatment is done only with foam.

Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade, Serbia