What can I expect with Foam Sclerotherapy?

Published On: November, 23, 2022

Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy

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 treatment of varicose veins is not as new as people think. It was originally described as early as 1944.  Foam sclerotherapy is a method for treating varicose veins. It involves injecting a foamed sclerosant medication into unhealthy varicose veins, causing them to eventually dissolve.


Colleagues in Spain attracted attention of some vein specialists and interest in the use of foam technology in treating venous insufficiency was reawakened. Administration of foamed sclerosant was reintroduced in the early 1990s by Cabrerra, who summarized a broad experience in 1997. By the 1990’s, broad use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging made it possible to monitor foam distribution with ultrasound scanning. Some 40 years earlier, and before the development of ultrasound scanning, foam had been used in Germany to treat varicose veins.  At that time, foam was made by special syringes and its distribution was assessed by touch, instead of ultrasound scanning.

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 foam sclerotherapy treatment, we will help you into your compression stockings, then you will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. This is normal for your legs to be achy and tender to the touch after treatment. 

For more information on foam sclerotherapy, read this article.



La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 


Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 


Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 


For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 


For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.


For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 


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