When is Foam Sclerotherapy Used?

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Patients suffering from spider veins and small varicose veins in the Kenner, Louisiana area have found success through foam sclerotherapy. These conditions are often embarrassing due to their appearance, while varicose veins may cause some degree of pain and discomfort. Patients who are suffering from spider veins or small varicose veins should consult a vein specialist to determine if foam sclerotherapy is right for them.

While this procedure is used to treat small varicose veins, it is not recommended for the treatment of large varicose veins. Those with large varicose veins should seek other treatment options such as endovenous laser ablation. A vein specialist will be able to recommend a safe treatment to help patients rid themselves of this often painful venous condition.

When foam sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins, it is not covered by insurance carriers. This is because it is used as a cosmetic procedure to eliminate the embarrassing appearance of spider veins. If the treatment is used as part of a larger plan to eliminate varicose veins, however, the treatment may be covered. To determine if the procedure is covered by insurance, patients should consult a vein specialist and their insurance carrier. Each treatment of foam sclerotherapy runs between $200 and $500 in most cases.

This is a procedure that utilizes a foam sclerant that irritates the vessel lining of problem veins. Specific veins are targeted and the treatment has been shown to be effective in collapsing and shrinking veins, rendering blood unable to flow through them. Blood flow is carried out through healthy veins following the procedure and the appearance of the condition should fade.

The procedure is performed under local anesthetic. Injections of the chemical sclerant are used to provide these results. As a general rule, every inch of vein being treated requires one injection. Ultrasound technology is used to visualize the entire procedure to ensure proper placement of each injection and to track the treatment. Most procedures are performed in 30 to 45 minutes, although this may vary. Patients are encouraged to discuss the treatment in greater detail for more information about how it is performed.

Foam sclerotherapy differs from other sclerotherapy procedures in that the chemical sclerant is a foam consistency instead of a liquid consistency. The foam formulation provides greater contact with the vein wall and is more effective in displacing blood in the vein. It is also easier to view on ultrasound.

Recovery from foam sclerotherapy is generally very simple and brief. Most patients are able to resume normal activities and return to work immediately following the procedure. Compression stockings may be recommended for a couple of days to aid in healing if the legs are treated. Results are typically achieved after just one treatment, although some patients may require several sessions before they reach optimal results. Interested patients should discuss this with a vein specialist before undergoing treatment.

For more information about foam sclerotherapy or spider veins and varicose veins, patients should seek consultation with a vein specialist in the Kenner area.

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