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I am thinking about having foam sclerotherapy and I was once told by a doctor that the blood will clot from the foam and then the foam shrinks the vein. Can you explain this process? How long does the blood clot stay there? Is it a concern, and is there a risk of developing other problems from this treatment, such as cancer?
There are few things in medicine that are a case of "never" or "always." However clots in superficial veins never go beyond the vein. They may be somewhat sensitive or cause low-grade pain for a few days to 2 weeks. The risk of cancer is unknown, but I am not aware of any study suggesting a relationship between foam sclerotherapy and cancer. Foam Sclerotherapy is a very effective way to damage the lining of the vein and create the conditions for your body to reabsorb the damaged veins.
Although the vein does shrink in response to sclerotherapy, successful
results occur when little or no clot forms. When clots form most veins
recanalize (re-open) and the vein persists. This is not dangerous and
cannot cause cancer.
The foam breaks down the proteins in the vein walls, which in turn causes an inflammatory response, causing the blood to clot, which is part of the healing process. The vein will just scar down, and eventually your body will absorb that scar tissue. The foam is usually 80% effective the first time. Sometimes part of the vein will close off and another injection at a later time is needed to finish the process. Superficial vein thrombosis is not a health concern. They may hurt and look inflamed but will not contribute to DVT. I've never heard of cancer as a risk from this treatment. Feel free to consult with an interventional radiologist for treatment for varicose veins.
Foam sclerotherapy is a technique used in the treatment of varicose vein disease. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosant into an abnormal vein in attempts to shut the vein down. The way the sclerosant works depends on what drug is utilized. The two most accepted drugs are sotradecol and polidocanol. Both drugs work by stripping protein from the walls of the vessels that they make contact with. In so doing, the drug is essentially putting holes into the vein wall causing your body to create scar tissue. Whether you actually form a blood clot of any significance in the vein is really up for debate. In most patients that we treat, we really only see scar tissue inside the treated vessels. Rarely, if ever, do we see blood clots. As for cancer risks, the drugs of choice noted above have been used in vein treatments for over 30 years. There is no documented history of cancer issues following treatment.
Foam sclerotherapy is good for treating veins, however, it is mostly used in conjunction with vein closure.
It depends on what treatment you are having.
There is no risk of developing cancer. The process is just as you have described it the blood is pushed out of the vein by the foam which then irritates the vein to clot. The clot is absorbed by the body over several weeks to several months. Sclerotherapy has been done for years and so has foam. It is a very safe procedure but no procedure is without risk. You should speak with the doctor performing the sclerotherapy.