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Foam Sclerotherapy and Stroke – The Facts

Recently, a patient whom I had already treated successfully with a combination of Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy and Phlebectomy told me something that really surprised me.

“My Mother saw a vascular surgeon and she was told that Foam Sclerotherapy is not safe, because it causes stroke, and he recommended that she has surgical stripping of her veins under general anaesthetic.”

Of course, I disagree with this opinion and here are the facts.

The Facts About Foam Sclerotherapy

  1. In a clinical audit in the United Kingdom of 7,027 patients who had undergone 11,537 foam sclerotherapy procedures, no cases of stroke were reported.
  2. In France alone, 1.5 million sessions of sclerotherapy are performed each year. Around the world, it is quite likely that millions of sclerotherapy treatments are performed each month.
  3. In a prospective registry of 12,713 sclerotherapy procedures in France, no cases of stroke were reported.
  4. Only 13 cases of stroke after sclerotherapy have been published in the world despite the huge number of these procedures being performed around the world each day. Some involved liquid sclerotherapy (4 cases), not just foam (9 cases). The majority (10 out of 13) made a complete recovery. Of the 3 cases of stroke after sclerotherapy that did not make a complete recovery, 2 occurred after liquid sclerotherapy.
  5. Stroke is a much greater risk after any operation under general anaesthetic including surgical vein stripping than after Foam Sclerotherapy.
In my opinion, Foam Sclerotherapy is very safe. In fact, I believe it is much safer than traditional operations under GA such as stripping which are usually recommended by most vascular surgeons for the removal of varicose veins.

Parsi, K. Phlebology 2012; 27:147-167

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If you’re worried about your veins or if you are wondering whether ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy would be suitable for you, please do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone and email for free and without obligation.