The history of sclerosing foams

Dermatol Surg. 2004 May;30(5):694-703; discussion 703. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2004.30208.x.


Background: The use of foamed sclerosants in phlebology is undergoing a renaissance. The use of foam sclerotherapy was relaunched only a few years ago. Despite this, the early developments, pioneer findings, and improvements, especially in foaming techniques, are not widely recognized.

Objective: The objective of this study was to give an overview from the very beginnings of foam sclerotherapy until the most recent and progressive techniques, as described by Tessari or the double syringe system technique.

Results: The publications found after a thorough research for literature about foam sclerotherapy allow us to examine what has been invented between Orbach's work in 1944 and now and--surprisingly--even before 1944. The contributions of greatly reputed and also of unknown colleagues, such as Orbach, Sigg, Mayer, or Fl├╝ckiger, are presented, giving a historical overview from the very beginnings of foam sclerotherapy until the most recent techniques. Basically, the literature shows that remarkable work was carried out in the field of noncommercial foam sclerotherapy and that sclerosing foams have been used by numerous doctors continuously for the past six decades, especially for the treatment of varicose veins of the lower limbs.

Conclusion: The use of foamed sclerosing agents in therapy of large or small varicose veins is not new. It started as early as 1939 and has continuously been improved in the past decades.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dosage Forms
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Sclerosing Solutions / history*
  • Sclerotherapy / history*


  • Dosage Forms
  • Sclerosing Solutions