Foam Sclerotherapy for Varicose Vein Removal & Spider Vein Removal: Why Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas Uses It
It has been used effectively in Europe for years for varicose vein removal and spider vein removal, and now it has made its way to Texas. Foam sclerotherapy is the latest varicose vein treatment used to remove ugly and unwanted veins. Houston vascular surgeon Dr. Mark Skellenger and the staff at the Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas are using foam sclerotherapy to treat Houston varicose vein patients because it is safe, simple and reliable. The procedure does not involve any type of surgery so it requires no hospital stay, no general anesthesia and no painful incisions or scars. The varicose vain removal procedure is done in an office setting and is relatively quick and painless. Recovery time is minimal and most patients return to work and everyday activities within hours of the procedure. The cost is minimal when compared to other expensive varicose vein removal options like surgery.
Foam sclerotherapy involves injecting "foamed sclerosant drugs" into a blood vessel using a syringe. The sclerosant drugs (Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate or polidocanol) are mixed with air or carbon dioxide in a syringe or by using a mechanical pump. This increases the surface area of the drug and creates a toothpaste or shaving cream like foam that is then injected into the vein. Dr. Skellenger and his staff use an ultrasound machine to track and guide the foam into the varicose vein. The foam damages the inside wall of the vein which causes the vein to collapse. The walls of the damaged vein meet, scar together, and become invisible.
Suspending the medication in foam is better than traditional sclerotherapy which uses a liquid because foam has a greater surface area. This allows it to adhere to the varicose vein walls more effectively, causing faster "shrinkage". The foam does not mix with the blood in the damaged vein, but rather displaces it, which avoids any dilution of the drug. This makes the procedure very effective at treating large varicose veins. In addition, the foam shows up in an ultrasound so its movement in a vein can be monitored.
The varicose vein removal procedure has relatively few complications or side effects and recent studies have shown that it can be as effective as surgery for treating varicose veins, minus the pain and expense. Most patients return to work the day after the procedure. There are no restrictions other than prolonged standing should be avoided and legs should be elevated when at rest.
In the past, patients that had large or long varicose veins had no other choice than a costly surgical procedure to effectively remove them. Now they have a quicker and relatively pain free option with no scars or long recovery time.
Patients at the Cosmetic Vein Center of Texas undergo foam sclerotherapy in a pleasant outpatient setting with local anesthesia. Patients are advised to shave their legs before the procedure but to restrain from using any lotions or creams. Patients must also restrain from drinking any alcohol or taking any aspirin or ibuprofen for 24 hours before the treatment. Dr. Skellenger first marks the varicose veins with a pen. He then maps the veins to be injected with an ultrasound machine. A small amount of local anesthetic is then applied to the treatment area. Once the anesthesia takes effect, one or more tubes are inserted into the affected veins. The number of tubes and where they are placed will depend on the individual pattern of varicose veins. The leg being treated is then raised to empty all the surface veins of blood. The foam is prepared and injected through the fine tubes into the veins. This should not be painful as the area will be numb from the local anesthesia. Ultrasound imaging is used again, this time to make sure all the veins have been filled with foam. The entire procedure takes around an hour.
After the treatment, the patient’s leg will be bandaged and fitted into a compression stocking. Someone will need to drive them home, but most patients walk out of the procedure on their own two feet without any assistance.