Foam sclerotherapy combined with surgical treatment for recurrent varicose veins: short term results

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2007 May;33(5):619-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2006.11.037. Epub 2007 Jan 16.


Objective: To study the short term results of combined peroperative foam sclerotherapy (PFS) and surgical treatment for recurrent varicose veins.

Methods: PFS was used to treat 129 limbs with recurrent varices: 100 great saphenous (GSV), 29 small saphenous veins (SSV). Foam was prepared with 1% polidocanol mixed with 4 times its volume of air. The 100 GSVs comprised 28 trunks directly connected with the femoral vein, 28 connected to a lymph node venous network, 11 associated with perforators and 33 isolated trunks. The 29 SSVs comprised 4 trunks directly connected to the popliteal vein, 7 isolated trunks, 15 popliteal perforators and 3 recanalisations after SSV stripping. All operations included phlebectomies. In twenty limbs re-ligation of the SFJ and 4 SPJs was carried out. All were performed under local anaesthesia in an ambulatory setting. Patients were assessed clinically and by colour duplex ultrasound after 3 and 40 days follow-up.

Results: 120 patients (93%) showed complete obliteration of saphenous trunks, junctions and varices. The 9 incomplete obliterations were 3 venous recanalisations in the SSV compartment and 6 perforators (4 popliteal and 2 femoral). Two asymptomatic deep venous thromboses were detected by colour duplex 3 days after operation.

Conclusion: PFS facilitates surgical treatment of recurrent varicose veins. There is a small risk of post-operative deep vein thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Saphenous Vein
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Sclerotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varicose Veins / surgery
  • Varicose Veins / therapy*


  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols