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Liquid, foam, and glue sclerotherapy techniques for the treatment of lower extremity veins

Sherry Scovell, MD, FACS
Section Editors
John F Eidt, MD
Joseph L Mills, Sr, MD
Jeffrey S Dover, MD, FRCPC
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Collins, MD, PhD, FACS


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive percutaneous technique using chemical irritants to close unwanted veins [1,2]. Sclerotherapy is used primarily in the treatment of telangiectasias, reticular veins, and small varicose veins, which can be symptomatic and a source of significant distress to some patients even in the absence of symptoms. Saphenous and perforator reflux can also be treated with sclerotherapy techniques.

The treatment of telangiectasias, reticular veins, and varicose veins, and underlying perforator or saphenous reflux with liquid and foam sclerotherapy, will be reviewed here.

Alternative approaches to treatment of chronic venous disease using cutaneous laser, endovenous ablation devices, and open surgical management are discussed elsewhere. (See "Overview and management of lower extremity chronic venous disease" and "Laser and light therapy of lower extremity telangiectasias, reticular veins, and small varicose veins" and "Radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of lower extremity chronic venous disease".)


The major superficial veins of the lower extremity include the great and small saphenous veins (figure 1A-B). Additionally, other superficial veins are present in the lower extremity, many of which have variable anatomy. (See "Classification of lower extremity chronic venous disorders", section on 'Superficial venous system (As)'.)

The deep veins of the lower extremity are contained within the deep muscle compartments bounded by the muscle fascia (figure 2). (See "Classification of lower extremity chronic venous disorders", section on 'Deep venous system (Ad)'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 28, 2017.
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