Foam sclerotherapy is the newest innovation to treat spider veins and varicose veins, and is very useful for longer and larger veins. Foam sclerotherapy is a technique that involves injecting foamed sclerosant chemical within a blood vessel using a very small syringe in order to thicken the vessels and seal off blood flow. The sclerosant chemicals of Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate or polidocanol are mixed with air or a gas (carbon dioxide), increasing the surface area of the foam. The foam has a greater surface area than liquid, so it covers more of the damaged veins and adheres to the vein wall more effectively, thus causing faster shrinkage of the veins.
The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour, and typically the veins are eliminated in 3 to 4 weeks.