Foam Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective method for treating troublesome varicose veins through injecting a detergent-like agent which has been suspended in foam into the vein. This method is so effective because the foam fills the entire cavity of the vein. The use of foam sclerosants allows the active chemical ingredients to remain in contact with the vessel wall for an extended period of time, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatments. This advanced form of sclerotherapy has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.
Foam sclerotherapy has two distinct advantages over traditional sclerotherapy procedures. Because the sclerosing agent is in a foam form, it is able to displace the blood in the vessel being treated, which means the sclerosing formula is able to be in direct contact with the vessel wall for a longer period of time, allowing it to work more effectively than liquid agents which may be diluted by blood flow. Also, the foam is visible on ultrasound, and its placement, spread, and effects can be guided and tracked more effectively as a result.
Foam sclerotherapy has few side effects, but compression hose should be worn for at least 2 weeks after treatment. It typically takes about six weeks for the veins to disappear completely. The injection site may be slightly sore and some bruising may occur, but the veins will no longer cause pain. Once they are gone, they will not return.