Foam Sclerotherapy involves injecting blood vessels with a sclerosing solution, a chemical that collapses the vessels. The procedure uses a fine gauge needle and is sometimes guided by ultrasound. In foam sclerotherapy, the sclerosing agent is mixed with air just prior to the injection. Injecting the unwanted veins with this solution causes the vein to immediately shrink, and then dissolve over a period of weeks as the body naturally absorbs the treated vein. Sclerotherapy is a non-invasive procedure taking only about 30 minutes to perform.
Only one in 100,000 people experience any allergy to the foam, which has been used as a treatment for years, and is used only in extremely small quantities. Foam sclerotherapy is generally considered to be safe; however, there are certain side effects that may occur after the procedure.
According to the Mayo Clinic here some side effects that may occur at the injection site:
- Raised red areas
- Small skin sores
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple tiny red blood vessels
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks.
Foam Sclerotherapy results are generally excellent. It does require some time for the healing process and the large veins tend to take a longer time to disappear than the smaller spider veins. There may be a period of bruising and some redness before the veins begin to fade away. Patients walk out of the office and resume all activities as usual. There is no down time.
As with all vein treatments, selecting the right physician is very important. Finding a doctor who performs all vein treatments will ensure the right treatment plan will be chosen for you. You also want to choose a physician who has experience with foam sclerotherapy and performs it on a regular basis.