Ultrasound foam echo-sclerosis consists of deactivating a varicose vein: this operation is called "endovenous ablation".
For this purpose, the surgical intervention consists in intravenous injection of a foam agent, composed of a sclerosing material diluted in sterile air. The phlebologist performs the procedure under ultrasound guidance to control the injection needle, especially when the vein is not sufficiently visible or accessible.
The act is virtually painless. It does not require anesthesia, although anesthetic cream may be used in cases of increased sensitivity.
The extent and size of varicose veins may require several consecutive sessions.
This technique can be applied in many situations, namely in the treatment of reticular varices and telangiectasias.
However, it is important to consider the size of the treated veins. Although no lower limit seems to hinder its implementation, echo-sclerosis is nevertheless contraindicated for a vein diameter greater than 6 mm. This is because a higher recanalization rate when compared to that one observed in other surgical techniques, including thermal ablation.
Side effects and complications
Benign side effects are skin bruises, induration and pigmentation. Migraine and visual blur during operation can manifest themselves. Although rare, the complications are phlebitis, necrosis or neurological accidents.
It will be required to wear compression stockings for one to four weeks after the procedure. The surgical dressings may be generally removed from the injection sites a few hours after the procedure.
Under the effect of the sclerosing product, the varix turns into a fibrous cord that will regress and, often, disappear.
Although foam echo-sclerosis is an economical method, it has the drawback to possibly require repeated injections. Except in case of contraindication, thermal ablation by radiofrequency and laser will therefore be generally preferred. But, considering its minimal implementation constraints, the technique is used either in case of varicose recurrence or in addition to thermal or surgical techniques.
General overview of treatments
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