January 25

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When is Foam Sclerotherapy Used over Traditional Sclerotherapy?

By Dr. Jose Almeida

January 25, 2016

foam sclerotherapy

Spider veins and varicose veins represent two of the most troublesome conditions that affect the legs and arms. These veins may have a negative effect on your overall appearance, make you reconsider your self-image, and even create a decent amount of pain and irritation.

While traditional sclerotherapy can treat these conditions, sometimes other treatment methods will work better. Foam sclerotherapy is one such method that can produce overwhelming positive results while reducing some of the risks associated with traditional sclerotherapy.

Traditional and Foam Sclerotherapy Compared

The differences between traditional sclerotherapy and foam sclerotherapy reside in the way these two treatments work. That’s why it’s important to understand just how each of these treatments affect the veins.

Traditional sclerotherapy works by injecting a solution directly into the veins. This solution irritates the walls of the veins, which in turn signals to the body that the veins should be blocked by a clot. This process is relatively safe when used appropriately, as few side effects tend to arise from its use.

Treatments using traditional sclerotherapy may require between 5 to 30 minutes of time for the solution to work. Larger veins may require significantly more time to ensure a solid clot forms within the vein.

Foam sclerotherapy utilizes a foaming agent that causes an artificial blockage within the vein. The body forms a clot around the foam, which in turn creates a more stable blockage of blood flow.

Because of the way the foam forms within the vein, treatments tend to require less time to perform. Patients may be able to leave their appointment after five to ten minutes of receiving their treatments.

While these treatments may appear superior to traditional sclerotherapy, they are best used when the veins are medium to large in size. This minimizes any negative effects that the expanding foam may have within the vein, such as pain or worsening of varicose veins while providing for a significantly more stable clot that should not dislodge.

When Should Foam Sclerotherapy Be Used?

Foam sclerotherapy creates a blockage that consists of biologically compatible materials within the vein. This allows for wider veins to be blocked, which in turn can provide a safer and more reliable treatment for patients suffering from spider veins or varicose veins.

Foam should be used when the veins are larger or more pronounced. Given how larger veins tend to align with varicose veins, this can form an ideal method of treatment.

Smaller veins should be treated with injections designed for veins of their size. Patients who may have adverse reactions to traditional sclerotherapy may opt for foam injections. Larger veins should be treated by foam sclerotherapy in most cases.

Is Foam Sclerotherapy Right for You?

Each case of vein-related conditions is unique. The factors that caused issues like varicose veins and spider veins to develop should be treated along with the symptoms to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment possible.

If you think foam sclerotherapy may be able to treat your condition, then contact Miami Vein Center today to schedule a consultation. Our experts can schedule a consultation appointment to evaluate your unique needs while working with you to form an ideal treatment plan.

Dr. Jose Almeida

About the author

Dr. Jose Almeida, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT is a veteran academic vascular surgeon who practices Endovascular Venous Surgery in Miami, FL. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery in both Vascular Surgery and General Surgery.

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