February 15, 2024

Laser Vein Treatment Vs. Sclerotherapy Treatment: What’s the Difference?

There are several vein treatment options available to help those living with varicose veins and spider veins. Finding the most effective treatment for your specific needs often requires the assistance of a vein expert. Here at BASS Vein Center, we have several excellent vein specialists on staff ready to help.

What Is Laser Vein Treatment?

Laser Vein Treatment, or endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vein conditions, especially in the legs. This method uses a medical laser to coagulate the blood within problematic veins, causing them to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body. Laser treatment is precise, targeting specific veins without affecting healthy tissue, making it safe and effective.

It's most suitable for smaller veins like spider veins and small varicose veins, with limited effectiveness for larger varicose veins. The procedure involves the insertion of a laser fiber into the vein, and the use of laser energy to heat and collapse the vein walls. Recovery is quick, typically allowing you to resume regular activities within a day or two. 

In short, laser vein treatment offers a precise, minimally invasive solution for certain vein conditions.

What Is Sclerotherapy Treatment?

Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a special solution, known as a sclerosing agent, directly into the affected veins. This solution irritates the vein lining, causing it to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body.

The procedure begins with a consultation with a healthcare provider who will assess your specific vein condition and decide if sclerotherapy is the appropriate treatment for you. During the treatment, a fine needle is used to inject the sclerosing agent into the targeted veins. You may experience a mild burning or stinging sensation at the injection site, but this is generally tolerable.

Main Differences Between the Two Treatments

Here are some of the main differences between the two treatments:

Treatment Approach

  • Laser Vein Treatment: This approach utilizes a medical laser to generate heat, which is delivered into the problematic veins. The heat coagulates the blood within the veins, leading to their collapse and eventual absorption by the body. The precise targeting ensures that only the affected veins are treated, leaving surrounding healthy tissue untouched.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosing agent directly into the affected veins. This special solution irritates the vein lining, causing it to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. However, the precision is somewhat lower compared to laser treatment, which can result in the treatment affecting nearby veins as well.


  • Laser Vein Treatment: Laser therapy is known for its precision. It can precisely target the veins causing the issue, ensuring that surrounding healthy tissue remains unaffected. This high level of accuracy makes it a safe and effective option.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: While effective, sclerotherapy may lack the precision of laser therapy. The sclerosing agent can cause irritation to neighboring veins, potentially affecting them in addition to the targeted ones.

Treatment Sensation

  • Laser Vein Treatment: Patients may experience mild heat or discomfort during the procedure, but this is generally well-tolerated. The sensation is usually brief and manageable.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: During sclerotherapy, patients may feel a mild burning or stinging sensation at the injection site. The discomfort is typically localized to the area being treated and is often temporary.

Procedure Invasiveness

  • Laser Vein Treatment: Laser therapy is minimally invasive, involving only small incisions that result in minimal scarring. This makes it an attractive option for those seeking a less invasive solution.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: Sclerotherapy is similarly minimally invasive, typically using fine needles for injections. It leaves minimal scarring and is considered a less invasive alternative.

Recovery Time:

  • Laser Vein Treatment: Patients who undergo laser therapy generally have a quick recovery, often allowing them to resume normal activities within a day or two.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: Sclerotherapy also offers a quick recovery period, with most patients able to return to their regular activities within a short timeframe.


  • Laser Vein Treatment: Laser therapy is highly effective for specific vein conditions. It can lead to a noticeable reduction in the appearance of these veins and improved circulation.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: Sclerotherapy is also considered highly effective for smaller superficial veins, improving both their appearance and circulation. It is a widely used treatment for spider veins and smaller varicose veins.

Cost Implications:

  • Laser Vein Treatment: The cost of laser therapy can vary but is generally relatively higher than sclerotherapy due to the specialized laser equipment used in the procedure.
  • Sclerotherapy Treatment: Sclerotherapy is often more cost-effective compared to laser therapy, making it a budget-friendly option for those seeking vein treatment.

Find Laser Vein Treatment Near Me

If you are interested in having your varicose veins removed and eliminating pain, BASS Vein Center is here to help. We offer some of the best laser vein treatment options for residents of the East Bay Area. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the treatment procedures we have available.

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