Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy at Ashtead Hospital

What is Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy?

Foam also known as Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy is a technique used to treat varicose veins. It is approved by NICE for use in patients who are not suitable for Endothermal Ablation (Laser or RFA). It is also permitted as an adjunctive treatment used in combination with Endothermal Ablation.

The technique is a modification of the basic sclerotherapy technique that has been around since the development of Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate in 1946. The foam technique was developed in 2000 by Tessari and uses the same sclerosant medication but instead of the medication being injected directly into the vein as a liquid it is mixed with gas (air or carbon dioxide) between 2 syringes to make a foam. This foam can then be injected through a needle into the vein under ultrasound control.

The injected Foam pushes the blood out and completely fills the vein, allowing the sclerosant to better contact the vein wall. The surgeon can control the strength of the sclerosant used and the volume of foam injected to achieve the desired effect. The lining of the vein is removed by the foam and the treatment starts a healing process. The vein walls stick together, and the channel is closed off. With time the vein is normally absorbed by the body.

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