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What is Foam Sclerotherapy?

Written by andy

Learn more about this amazing treatment for varicose veins…

Foam sclerotherapy is a unique method for dealing with varicose veins. The more traditional method of treating the veins involves the use of sodium tetradecyl sulfate, also known as STD. The STD is injected into the veins, where it causes damage to the lining of the blood vessel. This damage to the vein causes clotting, which your body is forced to deal with by repairing the damaged vein. But, in the process of fixing the damaged vein, it also destroy the spider vein–causing it to disappear. It’s a highly effective method of dealing with varicose veins once and for all.

But what is foam sclerotherapy? Well, this type of treatment uses the same STD solution, the only difference is that the solution is mixed and rapidly agitated, infusing it with air and essentially creating a foam. This foam is then injected into the larger varicose veins, as well as the underlying abnormal veins. Foam sclerotherapy provides a solution to treat the veins that cannot be treated using regular sclerotherapy. The fact that the solution is all foamed up means that it causes a spasm in the veins, and you can inject more foam into the vein while using less quantities of the STD solution. The higher volume per injection makes it easier to treat the larger varicose veins.

How can you be sure the foam sclerotherapy isn’t damaging your body? The treatment is administered under ultrasound control. Your doctor will have an ultrasound device to monitor blood flow in your veins, ensuring that there is no permanent damage or loss of blood flow. The monitoring will help to make the treatment more effective as well, as it will make it easier for the doctor to know exactly where to inject the foamed up STD.

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Is foam sclerotherapy more effective than the traditional non-foam method? Well, the type of treatment is fairly new, so there hasn’t been a lot of research done into its effects–both positive and negative. Many doctors who have tried foam sclerotherapy have discovered that it is highly effective, and it does look promising. Some doctors even recommend the method as an alternative to surgery. Instead of operating on the varicose veins, the STD injections provide a much simpler, less painful method of dealing with larger, harder to reach varicose veins beneath the surface of the skin.

How can you know if your varicose veins are the right kind to receive foam sclerotherapy? There are three types of veins that are ideal for the foam sclerotherapy. If your varicose veins involve the long saphenous vein running along the inside of your leg, it’s very likely that they can be treated using foam sclerotherapy. If the veins include the short saphenous vein that runs up the back of your leg, foam sclerotherapy may be a good option. Finally, if the varicose veins involve isolated leg veins, you may be able to use foam sclerotherapy to treat the varicose veins.

However, if your varicose veins do NOT fall into the three conditions listed above, it may be best for you to receive surgery. Varicose vein surgery is a tried and true method for dealing with the visible, raised veins, and can be a long-term solution to your problem.

Talk to your doctor and ask if foam sclerotherapy is a viable option for your varicose veins. The procedure may be fairly new, but the results are promising–making it an interesting course of action to look into!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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