Affecting around one in three people, varicose veins can cause pain and irritation. Thankfully, treatment options have progressed in recent years, bypassing the need for surgery. Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) is a flagship example of such treatments. Considered one of the most convenient and minimally-invasive procedures for varicose veins, USFS achieves fast and highly effective long-term results. This short guide explains what it involves, any associated risks, and the cost of treatment.
What does foam sclerotherapy treatment involve?
Foam sclerotherapy is a walk-in-walk-out outpatient procedure requiring only local anaesthetic and takes less than an hour to perform. It effectively relieves discomfort and improves the appearance of varicose veins by shrinking them, allowing the body to absorb the remaining tissue.
Your consultant surgeon will first perform an ultrasound scan to identify the veins requiring treatment. Then, under local anaesthetic, a foam mixture of sclerosant and air is injected into each affected vein through tiny tubes. The foam pushes the blood out of the vein while the sclerosant helps break down the walls, which, in time, disappear altogether. Ultrasound scanning is used throughout the procedure to monitor the path of the foam, ensuring the treatment targets the correct veins. The treated area is then dressed with a compression pad, bandage and an elastic compression stocking to assist the process.
Foam sclerotherapy recovery time
In most cases, it’s possible to return to work immediately, and light exercise such as walking is encouraged to improve and maintain blood circulation. If you are a swimmer, you can return to the pool once the bandages have been removed. You will be able to discuss engaging in other, more vigorous forms of exercise during your follow-up appointment. You should avoid driving on the day of the procedure; however, most patients can resume driving very quickly following treatment.
Foam sclerotherapy risks
Foam sclerotherapy is a safe, routine procedure for treating varicose veins. Some patients will experience minor issues such as bruising or lumps, and a small proportion of patients will develop pigmentation. Most of these issues will resolve themselves over time. However, as with most treatments, UGFS does carry a small risk of more serious side effects such as ulcers, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), or stroke. Your consultant can discuss any questions and concerns that you have about the risks during your consultation.
How much does foam sclerotherapy cost?
Clinics vary widely in their pricing structures, with some quoting scans as an “add-on” feature, while others charge extra for follow-up appointments. You can avoid any nasty surprises by requesting a fixed-price quote upfront for your treatment plan following your initial consultation.
Contact us for more information
Premier Veins offers a range of walk-in-walk-out treatments for varicose veins and thread veins, including ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. If you would like to talk to us about our treatment packages or book a FREE mini-consultation, please contact our friendly reception team who will be happy to help.