If you’re considering sclerotherapy as a treatment for spider or varicose veins, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and complications that can arise from the procedure. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting a sclerosing solution into the affected vein, causing it to collapse and eventually fade away. Although the procedure is generally safe, it’s not without risks. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the potential complications that can arise from sclerotherapy.

Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the sclerosing solution. This can result in symptoms such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. It’s important to inform your doctor of any allergies you may have before undergoing sclerotherapy. If you experience an allergic reaction during the procedure, your doctor will immediately stop the treatment and administer antihistamines or other medications to manage your symptoms.

What can go wrong with sclerotherapy? Learn about the potential risks and complications of sclerotherapy treatment for spider and varicose veins. Schedule a consultation today.

Pain and Discomfort

Most patients experience some degree of pain or discomfort during and after sclerotherapy. The level of discomfort can vary depending on the size and location of the treated vein, as well as your individual pain tolerance. Some patients may experience a burning or stinging sensation during the injection of the sclerosing solution, while others may feel a dull ache or cramping afterward. Most patients find that these symptoms resolve within a few hours or days, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help to manage any discomfort.

Blood Clots

Although rare, sclerotherapy can sometimes cause blood clots to form in the treated area. This is more common when larger veins are treated, particularly those that are deep within the leg. Blood clots can cause swelling, pain, and discoloration in the treated area. In rare cases, a blood clot can break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. To reduce the risk of blood clots, it’s important to wear compression stockings as directed by your doctor and to stay active after the procedure.


Hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, is a common side effect of sclerotherapy. This occurs when the sclerosing solution irritates the walls of the blood vessels, causing them to release excess pigment. In most cases, hyperpigmentation resolves on its own within a few months. However, in some cases, the discoloration may be permanent. Patients with darker skin tones are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation as a result of sclerotherapy.


Ulceration is a rare complication of sclerotherapy that occurs when the sclerosing solution irritates the skin around the treated vein, causing it to break down and form an open sore. Ulceration is more common in patients who have a history of skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. If you develop an ulcer after sclerotherapy, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately. Treatment may include antibiotics, wound dressings, and other medications to promote healing.


Although rare, infection can occur at the site of the injection after sclerotherapy. This can cause redness, swelling, and pain in the treated area. In severe cases, an infection can lead to a systemic infection that affects the entire body. To reduce the risk of infection, it’s important to keep the treated area clean and dry and to follow your doctor’s instructions for caring for the area after the procedure.

Don’t Worry — Harsh Side Effects & Complications Are EXTREMELY Rare!

It’s important to remember that while sclerotherapy does carry some risks, the vast majority of patients experience minimal side effects and complications. In fact, most patients are able to resume their normal activities immediately after the procedure.

At Maryland Vein Center, we take every precaution to minimize the risk of complications and provide thorough aftercare instructions to help you recover quickly and comfortably. Don’t let fears about potential side effects or complications prevent you from seeking treatment for your spider or varicose veins. With proper care and attention, you can achieve beautiful, healthy legs and enjoy a better quality of life.

Our Board-Certified Vein Doctors Minimize Risks

At Maryland Vein Center, our vein doctors are board-certified and highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of spider and varicose veins. We use the latest techniques and technologies to ensure the highest quality care and the best possible outcomes for our patients. Our doctors conduct a thorough evaluation before recommending sclerotherapy or any other treatment, and we take every precaution to minimize the risk of complications. With our expertise and dedication to patient safety, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands at Maryland Vein Center.

Prevention is Key: Reducing the Risk of Complications

While sclerotherapy is generally a safe and effective treatment for spider and varicose veins, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of complications. Before your procedure, make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking.

Follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare, including wearing compression stockings, avoiding strenuous exercise, and keeping the treated area clean and dry. It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by staying active, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a safe and successful outcome from your sclerotherapy treatment.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re ready to say goodbye to spider and varicose veins and achieve healthy, beautiful legs, schedule an appointment with us at Maryland Vein Center. Our board-certified vein doctors will conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend the best treatment plan for your individual needs. Our vein center is located at 10215 Fernwood Rd, Suite 301, Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC in Silver Spring. We offer free insurance verification, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your treatment is covered. Schedule an appointment to initiate your journey towards healthier legs.