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Varicose veins are enlarged, sometimes twisted veins that most often develop in the leg. They can be hereditary, tending to run in families. They can be worse during or after pregnancy, or if you are overweight. While they can be uncomfortable and unsightly, they don’t usually cause any serious health problems.

Veins carry blood to the heart. Along the length of all veins are valves, which only let the blood flow in one direction. The valves in the legs have to work harder to pump the blood that extra distance and problems occur when these valves become weak and don’t close properly. The blood flows backwards and pools in the veins. This causes the valves to weaken under the pressure and become enlarged and bulging in appearance - what we call varicose veins.

There are a number of treatments for varicose veins. If you continue to have problems with your varicose veins your consultant may recommend foam sclerotherapy.

What happens during foam sclerotherapy?

Foam sclerotherapy is usually carried out under local anaesthetic and as a day case procedure meaning you will go home the day of the procedure. A solution is mixed with air creating a foam. Your surgeon will inject this foam into the affected vein. If your vein is very deep, your surgeon may use ultrasound to guide the injection into the correct area.

After foam sclerotherapy

The foam begins to react immediately with the vein wall. It causes inflammation within the vein and pushes out any blood in the area. The walls of the vein become sticky and eventually close off the vein. Over several weeks or months, your varicose vein will shrink and disappear. 

Immediately after the injection, our Healthcare Team will apply a pressure bandage to your leg. This is to ensure the walls of the vein are held together and prevents blood from seeping back into the vein. You will need to keep any pressure bandages in place for 12-24 hours following your procedure. You will also need to wear compression stockings for 3-4 weeks. 

Your leg may be sore for a few days following foam sclerotherapy. You should remain mobile during your recovery - walking each day. Try to avoid long periods of standing, kneeling, squatting, bending or strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks. Elevate your leg when sitting for any length of time. 

Be sure and discuss any return to work with your surgeon. 

Most people are pleased with the results of their foam sclerotherapy. As with any procedure there could be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Blood clots

Specific complications from foam sclerotherapy may include:

  • Discolouration of the skin
  • Lumps under the skin
  • Inflammation across the vein site
  • Fainting
  • Temporary vision problems
  • Injections need to be repeated.
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370919
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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Consultant checking veins in leg s-promo

Varicose veins explained

Unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins can diminish your confidence and get in the way of the life you love. But Mr Simon Hobbs, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton hospital, says getting rid of them is not as scary as it once was.

Read full article