What is foam sclerotherapy?


Quick Answer

Foam sclerotherapy is a varicose vein treatment method characterized by rapidly mixing a sodium tetradecyl sulphate solution to create a foam that is injected into the vein, damaging the vein so that the patient's body eventually destroys it. According to the Circulation Foundation, foam sclerotherapy is used for larger varicose veins that cannot be treated with regular sclerotherapy.

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Full Answer

Although foam sclerotherapy is a promising treatment that provides an alternative to surgery, more research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness. Isolated varicose veins in the legs, short saphenous veins and long saphenous veins, which make up most cases of varicose veins, are suitable for this treatment method. Patients with an underlying blood clotting tendency should avoid foam sclerotherapy, and those with large or extensive varicose veins may find surgery to be a more effective treatment option, according to the Circulation Foundation.

Patients who undergo foam sclerotherapy may require two or three treatment sessions, depending on the number of varicose veins. Before treatment, the main surface vein is targeted and marked using ultrasound, and a local anaesthetic is injected. The health care professional then inserts needles into the veins and flushes them with a salt solution before injecting the foam in small amounts. The Circulation Foundation adds that the patient must wear compression pads and bandages for five days following the treatment.

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