A lot of people who have varicose veins (i.e. swollen, enlarged veins) choose to undergo a procedure called 'foam sclerotherapy' to treat their condition. Read on to learn more about this treatment.
What is involved in this procedure?
This procedure involves injecting a foam into a person's vein. The foam is made up of a type of chemical called a sclerosant, which has been found to cause the tissue from which a vein is made to develop severe scarring and inflammation.
Whilst this might sound like a negative characteristic, it can be very useful when treating varicose veins, as the inflammation and scarring inflict so much damage on the vein that the blood inside it is flushed out and the vein tissue then shrivels up and is reabsorbed into the patient's body.
The role of the vascular ultrasound in foam sclerotherapy
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of equipment used during foam sclerotherapy is an ultrasound machine. This is what the doctor performing the procedure uses to carry out a vascular ultrasound (i.e. to create ultrasound images of the patient's veins in the area of their body where the varicose vein is located).
This ultrasound provides them with visual guidance whilst the foam is being injected and when it is inside the vein; this, in turn, helps the doctor to monitor the condition of the vein and ensure that they do not overfill it with the foam or cause any damage to healthy veins nearby.
What steps should a person take in the days after undergoing this treatment?
After undergoing this treatment, the patient will have their affected body part compressed with a tight bandage. This helps to stop the blood that was flushed out of the varicose vein during the procedure from flowing back into it before it has shrivelled up (as the full resorption of the vein can take quite a while).
Ideally, this compression bandage should be worn for at least a few weeks after the treatment has been carried out. The wearer can put a waterproof cover over it when they need to shower or walk outside in the rain.
During this recovery period, the patient should occasionally pull off the compression bandage (for just a few seconds at a time) to check the condition of the treated area. If they find any severe pigmentation or lumps, or if the area shows signs of infection or inflammation (such as redness, swelling, etc.), they should go to their GP for a check-up, as they may be suffering from complications that require treatment.
Hello, my name is Peter and I live in Western Australia with my wife on our pet dogs. This is my blog which details how to deal with various medical emergencies and other conditions. Last year, several friends and members of my family suffered from various different kinds of medical problems. Some of them, such as my uncle had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment that saved his life. Lots of my friends had minor problems which had a big impact on the quality of their lives. I take an active interest in first-aid and other medical matters so I decided to start this blog.