What is Foam SclerotherapyFoam sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive technique for men and women to eliminate unsightly varicose veins and spider veins The procedure involves injecting a foam sclerosant in a blood vessel to close it. The blood reroutes itself through healthy veins, restoring more normal blood flow. Medically necessary procedures are generally covered by insurance; foam sclerotherapy may be covered by insurance unless it is considered cosmetic.
What is Foam?Foam sclerescent is a mixture of gas bubbles in a liquid solution that contains surface-active molecules. At The Vein Center of Arizona we use Asclera or (polidocanol) in .5% or 1% solutions to create foam. The gas must be tolerated by patients, physiologic, and the bubble size ideally should be under 100 μ. Foam is classified by the bubble diameter and can be classified as foam, mini-foam,macro-foam and micro-foam. If the relative volume fraction of liquid is less than 5%, the foam is classified as dry, whereas if it is more than 5%, it is classified as wet. Wet foam is the most stable of the variations. I has the maximum stability. Uniform bubble diameter also provides more stability because smaller bubbles empty into larger bubbles. Laplace's law explains this. It states that the distending pressure in a bubble is inversely proportional to its radius.
Foam holds several advantages over traditional liquid sclerotherapy. Once a liquid is injected, it mixes with blood in the vein and dilutes the concentration of the sclerosant. Foam, on the other hand, displaces the blood allowing direct contact of the sclerosant with the inner layer of the vessel wall or endothelium. As a result, the effectiveness of the sclerosant is increased and a lower concentration can be given to treat varicose veins. Another benefit is that a given volume of liquid can be used to produce up to five times its volume in foam, depending on the method to create the foam. Using a smaller total dose of sclerosant to achieve the desired effect is a monetary and safety benefit.
Ultrasound Guided Foam SclerotherapyWhat sets the Vein Center of Arizona apart from other facilities when it comes to sclerotherapy is the ability to perform ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Under the expert hands of Dr. Larson, the sclerosant is injected directly into the saphenous veins, tributaries of the saphenous veins or into large varicosities. The utilization of ultrasound is groundbreaking in that is completes the treatment and resolves many of the recurrence issues associated with vein treatment. At the Vein Center of Arizona, we treat the entire venous system. Many facilities just want to perform endovenous ablation. They then send you to a nurse who performs cosmetic sclerotherapy. Often, there are additional veins that need to be treated including the residual great saphenous, small saphenous, varicosities off of the saphenous veins and gastrocnemius perforators.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy offers a real solution to areas of reoccurrence. When performed under the skilled hands of Dr. Larson at the Vein Center of Arizona you get the best results and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is covered by medical insurance.