Foam sclerotherapy is a new take on a procedure that has been used to treat spider and varicose veins for many decades. With the traditional sclerotherapy procedure, a saline solution is injected directly into the spider vein to collapse it so it eventually fades from view. Foam sclerotherapy uses a new type of solution that is the consistency of shaving cream. This thicker substance adheres to vein walls more effectively for better, faster results. Foam sclerotherapy can also be used to treat larger varicose veins because the more efficient administration of the solution can address a larger area of space.
Is Foam Sclerotherapy Right for Me?
Foam sclerotherapy may be a good option for patients who are suffering with larger varicose veins but do not want to undergo the risks or recovery time associated with vein stripping. This procedure is used on patients who are in reasonably good health with realistic expectations for treatment outcome. Our experienced staff can talk to you about whether foam sclerotherapy is the best solution for treating your own spider and varicose veins.
What are the Benefits?
There are some benefits of considering foam sclerotherapy over traditional sclerotherapy or more invasive procedures like vein stripping. These benefits include:
- The solution displaces the blood in the vein rather than mixing with it, so the medication is administered to the vein undiluted for better results
- The solution applies to a greater surface area, making this a good option for larger varicose veins that don’t respond well to traditional sclerotherapy
- The foam is more visible on the ultrasound machine, making it easier for the doctor to track the foam directly to the treatment site
- The procedure is less invasive than vein stripping, so the patient enjoys stellar results with few risks and almost no downtime
Foam sclerotherapy is a relatively new procedure, so it is not easily available at many vein clinics. However, USC Vein Centers offers the latest in foam sclerotherapy in all of our clinics throughout the southern California region.
How does the Procedure Work?
Foam sclerotherapy works in a similar fashion to traditional sclerotherapy procedures, only a different solution is injected into the vein. The injection is made, using ultrasound to guide the doctor to the specific treatment site. The patient may feel some mild discomfort or cramping for a minute or two, while the solution is going into the vein. Lidocaine may be used in the solution, to alleviate this discomfort during the procedure.
The entire procedure will probably take less than an hour to complete, depending on the number of veins to be treated.
What can I Expect Afterward?
Patients can usually drive themselves home from their appointment and are usually allowed to resume normal activities right away. However, aerobic exercise is typically prohibited for the first few days. Patients are instructed to wear compression stockings directly after treatment and for a few days afterward, to reduce swelling and promote faster healing. Our office will instruct you on the best type of compression stockings for your needs.
Is Foam Sclerotherapy a Permanent Solution to Varicose Veins? Foam sclerotherapy causes the treated vein to collapse completely, so blood can no longer flow through it. Instead, blood flow is naturally rerouted to other healthy veins in the area. This makes foam sclerotherapy a permanent solution to current varicose veins, although other veins can appear in time. If this occurs, subsequent procedures can be done to help patients retain their cosmetic appearance and prevent future symptoms from cropping up.
Foam sclerotherapy is a relatively new treatment for varicose veins that has shown stellar results in most patients. If you would like more information about this procedure, contact USC Vein Centers to get your questions answered or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.