BACKGROUND Congenital venous malformations are frequently treated with sclerotherapy. Primary treatment goal is to control the often size-related symptoms. Functional impairment and aesthetical aspects as well as satisfaction have rarely been evaluated. PATIENTS AND METHODS Medical records of patients who underwent sclerotherapy of spongiform venous malformations were reviewed and included in this retrospective study. The outcome of sclerotherapy as self-reported by patients was assessed in a 21 item questionnaire. RESULTS Questionnaires were sent to 166 patients with a total of 327 procedures. Seventy-seven patients (48 %) with a total of 159 procedures (50 %) responded to the survey. Fifty-seven percent of patients were male. The age ranged from 1 to 38.1 years with a median age of 16.4 years. The lower extremities were the most common treated area. Limitations caused by the venous malformation improved in the majority of patients (e.g. pain improvement 87 %, improvement of swelling 83 %) but also worsening of symptoms occurred in a minority of cases. Seventy-seven per cent would undergo sclerotherapy again. CONCLUSIONS Sclerotherapy for treatment of venous malformations results in significant reduction of symptoms. Multiple treatments are often needed, but patients are willing to undergo them.