Foam Sclerotherapy – Five Year Outcome

Prof Andrew Bradbury reports the longterm outcome of foam sclerotherapy.
J Vasc Surg. 2010 Oct;52(4):939-45. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is a safe and clinically effective treatment for superficial venous reflux.

Bradbury AW, Bate G, Pang K, Darvall KA, Adam DJ.

Department of Vascular Surgery, Birmingham University, Birmingham, UK. [email protected]


OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) is a safe and durable treatment for superficial venous reflux (SVR) associated with CEAP clinical grade 2-6 disease.

METHODS: This was an interrogation of a prospectively gathered computerized database.

RESULTS: Between March 23, 2004 and December 31, 2009, 977 patients (1252 legs) underwent UGFS for unilateral (702 legs) or bilateral (550 legs) SVR in association with CEAP clinical grade 2-3 (n = 868), 4 (n = 232), or 5/6 (n = 152) disease. The following reflux in 1417 venous segments was treated: primary great saphenous vein (GSV) (n = 745); recurrent GSV (n = 286), primary small saphenous vein (SSV) (n = 189), recurrent SSV (n = 50); primary anterior accessory saphenous vein (AASV) (n = 93); recurrent AASV (n = 46); vein of the popliteal fossa (VOPF) (n = 5), and Giacomini vein (GV) (n = 3). Three hundred forty-eight legs (27.8%) had undergone previous surgery. Three patients suffered post-UGFS deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and one a pulmonary embolus (PE), all within the first month (0.4% venous thrombo-embolic complication rate). Five patients (0.5%) had transient visual disturbance at the time of, or shortly after, treatment. No other neurologic or serious complications were reported. During a mean (range) follow-up of 28 (

CONCLUSION: UGFS for CEAP 2-6 SVR is associated with a low complication and retreatment rate. However, as patients are at risk of developing recurrent and new SVR they should be kept under review. Further UGFS for new or recurrent disease is simple, safe, and effective.

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