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What happens over time to the foam from sclerotherapy injections?

I am considering foam sclerotherapy injections for my varicose veins that developed after my last pregnancy. I like the fact that it has such a quick recovery time after the treatments. However, I was wondering what happens over time to the foam substance that is injected into your body? Does it evaporate? Is it absorbed by the body?


Doctors Answers (4)

The foam dissolves in your body and disappears within a minute. It is a gas and a liquid mixed so both mix with your blood and dissolve into solution and go away rapidly. I would consider your options for the veins and speak to a physician.

Just as with foam produced by shaking a soda or beer bottle, injected foam reverts back to liquid within two minutes and is excreted by the body and its normal metabolic process. However, foam displaces blood for an enhanced effect compared to liquid sclerotherapy.

The foam used in sclerotherapy has the same chemical composition as with liquid sclerotherapy which is a medical grade detergent, but is converted into a temporary foam by agitating and combining with a gas such as carbon dioxide or air. The foam has greater potency because it stays in contact with the inner walls of the vein for a longer period and so is more effective on the larger veins. The gas in the foam is reabsorbed by the body and the foam converts back into a liquid which is inactivated quickly by blood proteins. The sclerotharapy only affects short segments of veins, so treatment requires multiple injections along the length of veins. The foam and liquid sclerosants are non-toxic, and work by rapidly removing surface proteins from the cells that line the inside of the vein, which allow the vein to close. The remaining sclerosant liquid or foam, any trapped blood in the vein and the vein wall itself will all be reabsorbed by the body, usually over four to six weeks for small veins. It is important to wear compression hose for two to three weeks after the procedure and avoid hot water for four to six weeks after the treatment to prevent the closed veins from reopening. If any veins reopen shortly after treatment then they will acquire a new lining and will not disappear. If the treated veins remain closed after about one month then it will be permanent and the veins will continue to fade as they are reabsorbed by the body. New normal veins can develop easily where and when they are needed by the body.

Foam is denatured eight seconds after injection and then is absorbed by the body.

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