ULTRASOUND GUIDED FOAM SCLEROTHERAPY
Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy is a method of treating large varicose veins and junctional incompetence that previously were treated by ‘vein stripping’. Under ultrasound guidance, a foam sclerosant (medicine that closes the vein) is injected into the vein of concern.
The foam irritates the wall of the vein and causes it to ‘stick closed’. Over time the vein scars down. The leg is wrapped for 5 days and then a compression stocking is worn for 2 weeks. There is minimal bruising- usually just at the IV site.
Foam has many advantages over liquid sclerotherapy:
It is visible on ultrasound and so can be guided where it is needed. It is safer because lower volumes and concentrations of foam are used.
Most people resume normal activities in 1-2 days.
You must have compression stockings to wear after the treatment, so please order prior to booking your appointment. You may order your stockings the day of your consultation, or over the phone with a credit card.
What can I expect during this procedure?
A - The procedure requires two steps. The first step is an ultrasound to ‘map’ the leg veins. This gives us a picture of the complexity and source of the problem. The next step is treatment. Under ultrasound guidance, a foam sclerosant (medicine that closes the vein) is injected into the vein of concern.
What should I know for the day of the procedure?
A - You should plan to have someone drive you home following the procedure. You will be at the clinic for approximately 1 hour on treatment day. There is a routine to follow so you should plan for the rest of your afternoon and evening to be free. Ensure that you have a good breakfast, lunch and plenty of fluids. Do not wear your compression stockings day of treatment, but bring them with you. Bring a pair of loose fitting shorts and comfortable clothing and footwear for your travel home. Female Patients – You may shave your groin on the side being treated 48 hours before your appointment. Male Patients – If you have a lot of hair, it is suggested you shave your groin, lower leg and upper inner thigh 48 hours before your procedure. This makes it easier to remove the tape once the bandage is removed. You will be required to review and sign a consent form prior to treatment. Do not apply lotion to your legs 24 hours prior to treatment.
What are the post treatment instructions?
A - Your compression stocking will be worn to treated leg immediately after treatment. Leave this stocking on for 48 consecutive hours, then daytime only. Do not get your stocking wet. You must walk for 15-30 minutes following the procedure. Walk as normally and briskly as possible. Try to keep your leg elevated on the trip home. If you need to travel more than 45 minutes, it is very important that you stop and walk for 15 minutes every hour. Exercise your legs everyday for at least 30 minutes. Avoid high impact activities (running, contact sports, lighting anything heavy) until you have your first follow up. Discuss resuming your activities with Dr. Lutwick at this appointment. Any leg discomfort may respond to elevation, exercise Advil/ibuprofen or Tylenol. After five days, removed the stocking and pressure dressing. You may shower. Reapply your stocking daily for three weeks – do not wear overnight. Your leg may appear bruised, discolored, and or reddened. You may see the outline of your treated vein. You leg may be tender to touch, and/or have sore lumpy areas. This is all normal and you may take Advil/ibuprofen or Tylenol for any discomfort.
Follow Up Appointments
A - Follow up appointments for 1 and 4 weeks following treatment are required. Speak to receptionist to schedule these appointments.