Dr. Bruce R. Hoyle serves the Orange, CA area at the Advanced Vein Center. He provides services like varicose vein removal and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. Dr. Hoyle has worked as a vein specialist for over 15 years. Scroll down to read more.
First, a foam is formed using a small volume of the traditional sclerotherapy solution such as sodium tetradecyl sulfate or polidocanol. The solution is rapidly mixed and aerated. The agitation creates a foam solution that’s injected into the veins. Generally, this form of sclerotherapy works better for larger abnormal veins since it tends to reach a larger area of the vein. The amount of foam can be altered based on the size of the vein.
The solution reaches a larger area since it’s a foam solution. It’s ideal for larger veins. It’s used to treat varicose or spider veins.
The ultrasound machine is first used as a diagnostic tool since it visualizes deeper veins in the legs and can distinguish which veins are normal from veins that are abnormal, incompetent, or refluxing. Ultrasound is also used in treatment as it can guide the placement of needles, catheters, and solutions into the veins.
This is best answered in consultation with the doctor. Dr. Hoyle primarily uses foam sclerotherapy for deeper varicose veins that are not amenable to endovenous thermal ablation or surgical removal. On occasion, he will use foam sclerotherapy on spider veins in certain troublesome areas on the legs.
It may take two or three treatments conducted on different days to successfully treat the problem. An ultrasound machine is used to visualize and gain access to the abnormal veins with a tiny needle through which the foam sclerosant is injected. The ultrasound can also monitor the movement of the foam in the vein. No anesthetic is required.
Usually, it’s rather painless besides the pinch of the injections. Some people experience hard lumps where the veins were. The skin where the foam was injected may turn brown. Deep vein thrombosis is possible but extremely rare. Some of the treated veins may remain open and require retreatment. Ulcers, visual disturbances, allergic reactions, or stroke have been reported in worldwide literature but are extremely rare.