Sclerotherapy Vs. Foam Sclerotherapy: What’s the Difference?

Sclerotherapy Sclerotherapy is a tried and trusted technique used to permanently remove varicose and spider veins. However, this is not the only method used to remove varicose and spider veins. Foam sclerotherapy is also used, but what’s the difference? Well, let’s take a look at the difference between the two and how they are used in varicose vein treatment.

What Does Sclerotherapy Treat?

Sclerotherapy and foam sclerotherapy are both used to treat varicose and spider veins. Varicose veins can look like knotted ropes that bulge from the skin. These veins have been enlarged and are caused by weakened or damaged valves. Varicose veins can cause aching, burning, cramping, itching, and changes in skin color, and patients are often unhappy with their appearance.

Spider veins are similarly caused by damaged and weakened veins but do not come with the same risk factors. Spider veins are small, non-bulging veins that are near the surface and look like spindly purple branches or spider webs. While spider veins are usually asymptomatic, they are often considered undesirable by patients because of their appearance.

Sclerotherapy Vs. Foam Sclerotherapy

Before understanding foam sclerotherapy, it is important to know what sclerotherapy is. Sclerotherapy is a treatment where a chemical solution is injected into a varicose or spider vein to inflame it. This inflammation causes the undesired vein to collapse. While this may seem concerning, it’s an effective way to naturally redirect blood flow and nutrients to other healthier veins. The veins will immediately lose most visibility directly after the procedure and will fully dissipate after a few weeks.

Foam sclerotherapy is nearly identical to sclerotherapy other than the chemicals used to properly close off the affected vein. Both use a liquid sclerosing agent and directly inject it into the vein. However, foam sclerotherapy first whips the sclerosing liquid to increase its thickness and consistency. This technique may be more appropriate for larger varicose veins that need additional thickness.

How Our Team Can Help You!

Whether using foam sclerotherapy or traditional sclerotherapy, it’s important to have it done by a trusted establishment. That’s why Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center has been providing specialized care for over 25 years. Our specialty is with vein and arterial conditions, and that’s why people choose us as one of the leading providers for outpatient management of venous disease and varicose veins. So if you’re struggling with varicose or spider veins and looking for sclerotherapy of any kind, then contact us at 631-476-9100 today.

Sclerotherapy Vs. Foam Therapy: Which is Better?

Varicose veins on a legs of woman If you have varicose veins, the is a strong chance that you’re looking for the most effective means to get rid of them. The rise of modern medicine has given rise to many treatments for varicose veins, such as sclerotherapy

Procedures like sclerotherapy consist of methods designed to collapse varicose veins safely and help your body eliminate the vein on its own. But a new form of sclerotherapy called Foam Sclerotherapy has caused a debate among patients that want to know which one is more effective at treating varicose veins. If you’re wondering which treatment is better, here are a few things you should know about each and if one may be the best treatment for you.

How Traditional Sclerotherapy Works

Traditional sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure designed to help relieve varicose veins. During the procedure, you receive an injection of a solution into the troublesome vein, causing its blood to reroute to other veins. After a few weeks, the vein collapses and eventually fades.

The procedure typically takes under an hour to complete without the need for anesthesia, and you can return home after a short observation period.

How Foam Sclerotherapy Works

Foam sclerotherapy works in a similar way to traditional sclerotherapy, as it also involves injecting a solution into varicose veins. But, there are crucial differences between the two. For instance, foam sclerotherapy involves injecting a foam solution into the vein to reduce its size. Also, foam sclerotherapy is generally used to treat more prominent varicose veins.

Foam sclerotherapy is also completed as an outpatient procedure and can help you get back to your regular activities quickly. 

Which One Works Better?

Based on the severity of your varicose veins, your doctor can help determine which treatment may offer you the most noticeable results. Some people believe that foam sclerotherapy gives them better results because they report rapid improvement of symptoms and feel that varicose veins disappear more quickly. But, it’s worth noting that these results can widely vary and should not be taken as the standard.

Whether treatment is more successful depends on your case, symptoms, and how your body responds to treatment.

A crucial part of finding out what is best for you begins with speaking with a qualified professional. 

Please call our office to learn more about your varicose vein treatment options. Schedule a consultation at one of our 3 locations by calling us at (631) 476-9100.

Foam Sclerotherapy Aftercare Tips

Varicose veins on a female legs. If you have a problem with varicose veins, you may have chosen to have foam sclerotherapy to reduce or eliminate their appearance on your body. This procedure is non-invasive because it uses ultrasound to help guide the foam used to close the veins. 

The process will cause them to shrink and become less noticeable. In some cases, sclerotherapy may result in the veins disappearing completely.

Being non-invasive, some patients can return to their normal activities the same day as the procedure. However, as with any medical procedure you have done, there can be issues you will have to deal with afterward. The importance of caring for yourself is key to having a desirable recovery.

Avoid Hot Water

You will want to refrain from taking a hot bath or shower after your procedure. In addition, patients should avoid sitting in a sauna or a hot tub. Hot water can cause your skin to exfoliate, leading to some serious skin irritation after foam sclerotherapy. It can also lead to clogged pores, which could cause infections later.


If you must exercise after your foam sclerotherapy, you should limit it to walking. Vigorous exercise or jogging will cause you to produce a lot of sweat. That can carry bacteria to the treated area, which may lead to skin irritation at the least and infection at the worst. You will be able to go back to your regular exercise regimen in 24 to 48 hours.


Any medical procedure could lead to a mild amount of pain. If you experience any, you should avoid over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen. Some of these drugs can cause an excess of bruising or bleeding. If you have pain following your procedure, let us know, and we will be able to give you medication that can help without causing worse side effects.

We Can Help

If you have decided that foam sclerotherapy is the course of treatment you want, we would be excited to help you. At Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center, founded by Dr. Robert M. Pollina, we have a team of specialists focused on helping our patients reach their goals to attain their dream appearance. Call us at 613-203-2284 for a consultation and let us help you get on the way to a new you.

Minimally Invasive Vein Treatments

iStock 159737169 1 Vein health isn’t something that most people think about very often. Even when a person starts to notice a few spider veins or a little bulge in a vein in their calf or thigh, the concept of vein disease may not enter their mind. Spider veins and varicose veins are the two most common consequences of venous insufficiency, a condition in which the valves in small and larger veins do not work properly. While they are not preventable, these problems can be treated, and treated well with minimally invasive techniques. Here, we discuss a few. 

Compression Stockings

People don’t often think of compression stockings as a form of vein treatment. This is more of a remedy that can be managed at home, and should be when venous insufficiency is in its early stages. Compression stockings can be purchased online or at various pharmacies or medical supply stores. A doctor may also prescribe medical-grade compression stockings for more supportive care. Compression stockings work by narrowing the cross-section of a vein. With less side-to-side room, the valves in compressed veins are supported to close more efficiently. Better closure means less blood moving backward in the veins. 

Endovenous Radiofrequency Therapy

Endovenous treatment is delivered into the vein. Endovenous radiofrequency therapy works by delivering controlled waves of radiofrequency energy into a single vein at a time. Treatment is comfortably performed in the office using a tiny laser fiber. Ultrasound imaging guides the fiber to the affected area in the vein. Pulses of energy are emitted from the tip of the fiber, causing the inner walls of the vein to heat and collapse. Energy is delivered through the vein as the doctor slowly removes it to ensure adequate closure. 


Many people have heard of sclerotherapy. This office treatment can be used to close spider veins and minor varicose veins. It is an injection therapy that is comfortable without the need for anesthetic. To close bulging veins, the doctor makes multiple tiny injections into the superficial vein, delivering a sclerosing medication. This FDA-approved drug is one that causes controlled inflammation within the vein, resulting in the walls sticking together. The vein collapses and gets absorbed by the body. 

Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center offers a variety of proven vein treatments. To discuss your options, contact an office near you. We proudly serve Hauppauge, Riverhead, and Port Jefferson Station, NY.

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