Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy works well for treating surface varicose veins and veins that are not visible to the naked eye. The foam medication can be seen on ultrasound, which allows us to administer it precisely and direct it towards nearby varicose veins. Foam sclerotherapy can be safely used for veins that travel close to the skin or nerves. It also travels easily through veins with many twists and turns.


foam sclerotherapy

A variety of sclerosant medications can be used for veins, but we prefer polidocanol (brand name Asclera®) because it is the most comfortable for the patient and has the lowest risk of side effects. It is a detergent-type medication that injures the inner lining of the veins. This causes the vein to stop flowing, then eventually close down completely. Polidocanol has been well-studied and has been approved by the FDA since 2010 for the treatment of varicose veins and has been used in Europe for decades. Polidocanol is turned into a foam to treat larger veins. This is an off-label use of the sclerosant but very effective and well tolerated. La Jolla Vein Care providers have extensive experience with foam sclerotherapy.

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How many treatments will I need?

The number and frequency of treatments depends on a patient’s anatomy, how well the veins respond to each treatment, and the patient’s treatment goals. The national average is 2 to 5 treatment sessions to achieve 80% improvement. Some larger or resistant veins require two or more treatments to respond completely.

What should I expect on my treatment days?

You will sign your consent form then change into shorts provided by the office. We will clean your skin with alcohol, then use ultrasound to localize the veins. The foam medication will then be injected into your veins with a fine needle. You will elevate your legs on a wedge pillow for approximately 15 minutes. After your treatment, we will help you into your compression stockings, then you will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. It is normal for your legs to be achy and tender to the touch after treatment.