Ultrasound guided sclerofoam is an outpatient sclerotherapy procedure which removes spider veins and small varicose veins.
How does ultrasound guided sclerofoam work?
Sclerotherapy is a popular procedure for the removal of spider and varicose veins that uses a special solution, called a sclerosing agent, to cause controlled scarring of the vessel walls. The scarring will cause the vessels to collapse, preventing the flow of blood and allowing the vessels to fade away. The ultrasound guided sclerofoam technique uses a foam formulation of the sclerosing solution, and uses ultrasound imaging to ensure the solution reaches its target. Unlike traditional liquid solutions, the sclerofoam agent has a texture and thickness similar to whipped cream, which provides more effective administration of the sclerosing agent.
What are the advantages of ultrasound guided sclerofoam over other similar procedures?
Ultrasound guided sclerofoam offers two primary advantages over traditional sclerosing techniques:
- Foam blocks the flow of blood through the vessel during treatment, allowing the sclerosing agent to remain in contact with the vessel wall for a longer period of time, without being washed away or diluted
- By using ultrasound, the specialist can assure that the foam reaches the target areas, achieving a more precise and successful outcome.
Who is a candidate for ultrasound guided sclerofoam?
Generally, any person who has unsightly spider veins or small varicose veins is a potential candidate for the ultrasound guided sclerofoam procedure. Be sure to discuss any medical conditions or medications with your specialist prior to undergoing the procedure. Pregnant women should not undergo ultrasound guided sclerofoam therapy.
How is the procedure performed?
The ultrasound guided sclerofoam procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and begins with application of a topical numbing agent. Once the injection site is numbed, your specialist will inject the sclerofoam along the vessel, using ultrasound to ensure its proper placement. Once the procedure is complete, your specialist may apply a bandage to the area. The entire procedure usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete.
What is the recovery like?
Most individuals can resume their regular activities immediately following their procedure. There may be some bruising and redness, and a few patients may experience minor itching. When the legs or ankles are treated, you may also be given compression stockings to wear to speed the healing process.
What will my results be like?
While initial results will be visible soon after your procedure, it may take a few days before vessels completely close. Most individuals can achieve satisfactory results with one treatment, but some may need two or more treatments to achieve the results they’re looking for.
What are the risks?
The use of foam sclerosing agents has been linked to a very small risk of microembolisms, or tiny clots. Bruising, redness, and itching may occur, and usually resolve within a day or two.
Is the ultrasound guided sclerofoam procedure approved for use in the U.S.?
Yes, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the ultrasound guided sclerofoam technique in the United States.
Is the ultrasound guided sclerofoam procedure covered by insurance companies?
This procedure is used primarily as a cosmetic procedure, and is usually not covered by major insurers. However, if your treatment is part of a more comprehensive treatment of varicose veins for medical reasons, it may be covered. Ask your insurer about your coverage.
How much does ultrasound guided sclerofoam cost?
The ultrasound guided sclerofoam procedure usually ranges from $200 to $500 per treatment area.