What is ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy?
Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy is a new form of treatment for varicose veins, the technique involves making foam out of the original sclerosant. The sclerosant is a substance which damages the surface of the vein and causes it to fibrose and disappear and by making the sclerosant into a foam the volume can be increased tenfold allowing the whole vein to be treated in one sitting. The procedure is now carried out under ultrasound control which allows us to determine where the veins are and to ensure that they are completely full of foam.
Is everybody suitable for this technique?
A lot of people are suitable for this technique and again it will depend on the Non-Invasive Vascular Assessment, however larger veins are still better treated surgically.
What are the disadvantages of foam sclerotherapy?
The principal disadvantages of foam sclerotherapy are that the recurrence rate seems to be higher, it is associated with some induration and skin staining which is variable and can, on occasions, be quite severe. There have been reports of deep vein thrombosis and in patients who have a pre-existing hole in the heart, some visual disturbances. Although the side-effects may seem worrying, steps are taken to minimise them.
How do I determine the best form of treatment?
This will be determined following the scan and consultation. The best treatment is designed to remove the veins, reduce the chances of them coming back as well as giving a very good cosmetic result.