What are the risks?
These are rare but occasionally problems may develop such as:  

Advantages of foam sclerotherapy

Disadvantages of foam sclerotherapy

Futher information

The information contained on this website is intended as a guide only, it is not intended to substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment.
Please see your doctor with any questions regarding personal health or medical conditions

· Skin staining - approximately a third of patients undergoing sclerotherapy notice light brown streaks after treatment. This may fade over several weeks but in some cases, the staining can take several months to disappear.  Very rarely, it can be permanent.
· Occasionally a varicose vein becomes a painful lump following this treatment. This is called ‘thrombophlebitis’ and can often be treated by inserting a needle and removing clot from the vein causing the problem. Otherwise this will settle without treatment over a few weeks.
· Up to 1% of patients can develop a small ulcer at an injection site.  This can be quite painful but usually heals without treatment in a few weeks.
· In 2- 3% of patients thrombosis (clot) may spread to the deep veins following injection. If the leg swells and/or becomes painful you should contact your Consultant or GP for advice.
· Severe allergic reactions to the foam occur in around 1/50,000 of patients.
· Despite successful treatment your varicose veins might come back in the future.
· There is no guarantee that this treatment will get rid of all of your varicose veins or cure all your leg symptoms.
· Very rarely patients may experience temporary headache or visual disturbances.
· Death is extremely rare after this procedure and we are not aware of any such incidents to date.
· There is no need for hospital admission, general anaesthetic or surgery.
· Little or no time is required off work.
How is foam sclerotherapy carried out?
The treatment takes place in the vascular scanning room. It is performed with you lying down. A small needle is inserted into the affected vein or veins. This is often a large vein on the inside of the thigh or at the back of the calf.  Once the needle is in position, the leg being treated is raised to empty all the veins. The foam is prepared and injected into the vein. The foam spreads along the vein and we can see this using the ultrasound machine. We then apply firm pressure to your leg and bandage it up and put a stocking on top of the bandage.  The injection usually causes slight pain in the leg and sometimes aching can be felt. It is safest to inject only small amounts of the foam. Therefore you may need to come back for more treatment another day. Only one leg is treated at a time.

Cheltenham Vascular Unit

What is foam sclerotherapy?
Foam Sclerotherapy is injection treatment for varicose veins. This is similar to liquid sclerotherapy except that the liquid is simply frothed up. Most veins can be treated this way.
However some large or extensive veins may be better treated with surgery or Radio frequency ablation. Options can be discussed with your surgeon at your consulation.


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Foam sclerotherapy
Mixing the foam
Preparing the foam
Injecting the foam
Injecting the foam
Side effects of foam sclerotherapy
Some lumpiness, tenderness and bruising/discolouration may occur in the leg for several months afterwards. Sometimes the bruising leaves a brown stain on the skin.
You may feel some discomfort after the procedure. Taking a mild painkiller such as Paracetamol or Nurofen should be adequate.

· Usually one leg is treated at a time so more hospital attendances may be required.
· Just like surgery it may take several months for the bruising and lumpiness to resolve
· It may be more likely than surgery to result in the appearance of spider veins in some people.