Laser Vein Treatment vs Sclerotherapy: Comparing Effectiveness and Recovery

Endovenous laser ablation therapy (EVLT) and sclerotherapy are two minimally invasive treatment options for problematic veins. Here’s a comparison of these vein care treatments and how to contact North Shore Vein Center for a consultation regarding vein issues.

What Are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Varicose veins are large, twisted veins that tend to bulge out of the skin. They usually develop on the calves or inner legs and are more common in women than men. Swelling, itching, cramping, and heaviness in the legs are some of the many symptoms of varicose veins, which can often benefit from treatment.

In comparison, spider veins are significantly smaller than varicose veins. They can be seen under the skin but do not bulge outward. These veins rarely cause symptoms, but when they do, symptoms include itching, cramping, and a burning sensation in the legs.

Why Do You Need Treatment?

Vein treatment can minimize the appearance of unsightly veins and reduce symptoms caused by problematic veins. It can also lead to greater well-being in those whose lives are being affected by spider veins or varicose veins. In severe cases, vein treatment may also reduce the risk of potential vein complications, including leg ulcers and bleeding in the legs.

Which Treatment Is Right for You?

Varicose veins and spider veins can both be treated using minimally invasive therapies, including EVLT and sclerotherapy. These treatments are safe, fast, and effectively reduce veins and related symptoms.

Laser Vein Treatment

EVLT is a laser vein therapy that uses heat to close problematic varicose veins.

First, a local anesthetic is applied to the area near the varicose vein to reduce any pain that may be felt during the laser treatment. Then, a tiny laser fiber is inserted directly into the vein and heated up. This destroys the vein and causes it to collapse. Blood flow is redirected to normal, healthy veins, and the varicose vein will gradually dissipate over several weeks or months.

EVLT is ideal for anyone who wants to reduce the appearance and symptoms of their varicose veins and decrease the risk of complications such as ulcers. This laser vein treatment can also treat people with varicose veins who have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome.


Sclerotherapy is an injection therapy that uses a liquid solution called a sclerosant to remove spider veins and small varicose veins.

During this procedure, a tiny needle injects a sclerosant called sodium tetradecyl sulfate (Sotradecol) into the veins. This solution causes the veins to collapse and gradually fade from view over several weeks. In some instances, ultrasound may be used to help the vein specialist locate and treat the veins more precisely—a procedure known as ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.

Sclerotherapy is ideal for anyone who wants to reduce the appearance of spider veins, small varicose veins, or hand veins.

Vein care treatments, including EVLT and sclerotherapy, are relatively fast and painless and can effectively reduce the appearance of veins with one or two sessions. A vein specialist can properly assess and evaluate varicose veins and spider veins and recommend the right treatment.

North Shore Vein Center on Long Island offers treatments for varicose veins and spider veins, including sclerotherapy and laser vein therapy. To receive Long Island vein care, contact North Shore Vein Center today at (516) 869-8346 to request a consultation regarding available treatment options.