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Feeling self conscious about your varicose veins? Consider foam sclerotherapy

Have you been hiding your legs all summer? Afraid that people might see your bulging veins? You certainly are not alone, as approximately 80% of American adults suffer from either spider or varicose veins. Fortunately, with treatments like foam sclerotherapy available, you don’t have to live with them forever.

When the valves in our veins start to weaken, pressure can build up within the involved vessels. In some cases, this can lead to bulging or twisting of the veins. This results in either spider or varicose veins, depending on the size of the blood vessel. In order to get rid of these pesky veins, vein specialists can perform a procedure called foam sclerotherapy.

During foam sclerotherapy, a physician numbs the area surrounding the vein and injects a medication into the vessel. This treatment causes the vein to collapse, allowing the surrounding veins to take over the work of controlling blood flow. The entire process is monitored using ultrasound to ensure the medication spreads throughout the target vein. Foam sclerotherapy differs from traditional sclerotherapy because it uses a foam medication (sclerant) rather than liquid. This foam is able to contact the vein wall easier and it is better detected using ultrasound.

The whole procedure usually takes less than an hour, though it may take longer for larger veins that require multiple injections. After a quick recovery in the doctor’s office, most people can get back to their normal routine following the procedure. In some cases, compression stockings may need to be worn for a period of time while the legs are healing.

Although foam sclerotherapy can offer relief to some people, it’s not for everyone. This procedure can usually only be performed on spider veins and smaller varicose veins. If you have a cardiovascular disease or are pregnant, it may not be safe to have the procedure. Foam sclerotherapy may also result in a higher risk of blood clots forming in the treatment area. For some people, the treatment can cause itching, redness, and bruising at the site of the injection for a few days following the procedure.

If you are considering foam sclerotherapy, consult with a vein specialist. You could be back to sporting those shorts in no time.


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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.