What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy consists of injecting a sterile sclerosing solution with a fine needle in the vein’s interior. This produces a controlled swelling reaction, which will close up the vein. In the majority of cases the vein will become partially or totally invisible being reabsorbed by the body.
Instructions for foam sclerotherapy
Optimal circumstances for applying this varice treatment method include the following:
- Telangiectasias (the dilation of small blood vessels)
- Reticular veins (these bear resemblance to networks)
- Isolated varices
- Recurring varices
- Varices under the knee
- Varices of any size
Foam sclerotherapy cannot be used in the case of patients who are allergic to sclerosing solutions. This procedure is not recommended for patients who suffer from occlusive arterial disease (arterial blood flow is blocked) and acute thrombophlebitis.
Foam sclerotherapy procedure
As a first step of the treatment a map of the veins has to be made by the use of Doppler echography. This is followed by injecting the sclerosing foam solution into the problematic areas, which leads to the swelling of the veins’ walls. After this the veins can be eliminated. The chemical mix of foam and air injected into the vein will push the blood out of its trajectory, which in turn leads to a spasm of the vein. Thus the blood flow will stop in the vein, this will scar and dim in a few weeks. After a while these eliminated veins will be reabsorbed by the body, and they will disappear entirely.
If the results are not satisfactory, the procedure can be repeated on the same vein. A very important improvement provided by foam sclerotherapy is the fact that the liquid sclerosing agent has been substituted by a foamy substance, which has an enhanced efficiency.
The discomfort experienced by the patient is minimal, and the elimination of the vein in question (this includes stopping blood flow to the vein, and closing it) is usually a permanent solution.
The pain felt during the foam sclerotherapy process is of low or very low intensity depending in the sclerosing agent used and its concentration.
The advantages of the procedure
- Foam sclerotherapy provides a radical treatment for varicose diseases.
- This method does not require the use of a scalpel.
- Foam sclerotherapy is far more efficient than traditional chemical sclerotherapy, because the liquid substance used in the traditional method is by far not as efficient as the foam, which is used in this modern intervention.
- The sclerosing substance comes in contact directly with the walls of the veins without mixing with the blood.
- The procedure can be done in an outpatient surrounding, and its visibly benefic effects are immediate.
Foam sclerotherapy is a procedure which does not require hospitalization. The compression bandage applied after the procedure has to be kept on for a few days to help the contraction of the veins’ walls. The patient can stand as soon as the intervention is completed. After the procedure a 30 minute refraining from walking is recommended, but following this period, the patient is fully mobile. This indication serves the purpose of making an allergic reaction to the sclerosing agent visible as soon as possible, so that in the case such a reaction appears, professionally qualified help can be provided on the spot.
Possible discomfort and redness around the area in which sclerotherapy was applied will disappear in approximately 72 hours.