Varicose veins are those unsightly, often twisted veins that appear on the legs. They occur when the valves in the veins of the legs weaken and do not close properly, causing the blood to flow backwards and pool in the veins. Sometimes they are hereditary. Sometimes they can appear or become worse during pregnancy or if you are overweight. Varicose veins generally do not carry any serious health risk; however, they can be unsightly and unattractive.
There are a number of treatments for varicose veins; and foam sclerotherapy is a very effective and successful procedure for treating spider veins and large varicose veins. It is also a minimally invasive and relatively painless procedure. This treatment provides quicker results for bulging varicose veins with fewer treatments.
The Foam Sclerotherapy Procedure
During the procedure, a foam, called a sclerosant, is injected directly into the affected veins. The foam then attaches to the interior of the veins. It is not filtered into the blood, allowing the foam to remain in the veins longer, causing the vein to dissolve and eventually disappear.
The ultrasound guided sclerotherapy procedure that uses an ultrasound in addition to the foam treatment may be used to treat veins that are not visible on the surface of the skin. The ultrasound devices will allow a physician to treat those veins beneath the skin’s surface that may otherwise require removal via surgical procedures.
The procedure takes about 30 to 40 minutes and is performed under a local anesthetic. After the procedure, there will be no scarring or bruising. Additionally, there is no downtime, allowing patients to return to their normal routine immediately.
Patients will wear pressure bandages for about 12 to 24 hours to help keep the veins closed. Patients will then wear compression stockings for approximately two weeks to achieve the best results. You should remain mobile after the procedure. Patients should also avoid kneeling, squatting, bending or long periods of standing, or strenuous exercise for about four to six weeks. If you do need to sit for long periods of time, elevate the leg.
Benefits of Foam Sclerotherapy
There are many benefits of this procedure including:
- No vein stripping resulting in little pain or discomfort
- Less bruising
- No need for general anesthetic
- Less expensive than surgical options
- Little to no downtime