Sclerotherapy

Doctors treating varicose veins have for many years attempted to achieve good results in “out of hospital” setting. The main stay of treatment in this setting has been compression sclerotherapy. Recently further developments in these techniques have seen the use of foamed sclerosants that are improving the effectiveness of treatments in doctors consulting rooms.

This technique involves mixing a sclerosant (the active substance causing the veins to shut) with air to create a foam. This is then injected under ultrasound guidance into large veins causing the blood in those veins to be displaced and the active ingredient to have a more effective contact with the lining of the vein wall then previously. Combined with good compression this technique is most effective when there is no major saphenous trunk reflux. It is a technique that can be used alone or in combination with another modern technique used to close the main saphenous trunk, that being endovenous laser ablation using the CoolTouch CTEV 1320 nm laser.

Side effects of foam ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. (The bubble effect)

The side effects of foam sclerotherapy are usually brief and minor.

They include:

- Visual disturbance

- Cough

- Chest tightness

- Migraine

- Mini stroke/ Stroke – There have been 5 reported cases of non-disabling stroke in patients with heart abnormalities (patent foramen ovale) in the world literature. These events have been associated with all types of sclerotherapy including liquid based, foam with air and foam with CO2.

This makes this complication exceedingly rare.

We are always ready to treat any potential side effect.