Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS) for varicose veins

We are now offering ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) for varicose veins at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, West Midlands.

UGFS is a NICE-approved minimally-invasive alternative to varicose vein surgery that Professor Bradbury and his team have been developing in the West Midlands over the last 5 years.

Unlike varicose vein surgery, UGFS:

  • is performed as an out-patient procedure
  • does not require a general anaesthetic
  • requires no cuts in the legs - so there is no risk of wound infection or scarring
  • is virtually painless
  • is associated with much less bruising
  • allows most patients to return to work the next day
  • does not require any shaving of hair; a major bonus for the men!

The foam works by forcing the blood out of the varicose veins and making the walls of the vein ‘sticky’ so that the vein closes off. Over a period of a few weeks the treated varicose veins shrivel up and disappear.

Professor Andrew Bradbury says: "Having successfully treated over 500 patients with UGFS, both in the NHS and in the private sector, I now find that around 80 to 90% of patients, to whom in the past I would have offered surgery, are suitable for foam sclerotherapy. I offer patients the choice of surgery or foam, but, not surprisingly, few people opt for surgery when the very significant advantages of foam are explained to them."

"UGFS is particularly good for patients who have developed recurrent varicous veins after previous surgery and for patients with chronic venous leg ulcers secondary to varicose veins. Unlike varicose veins surgery, UGFS can also be performed on people who are anticoagulated without having to stop or reduce their warfarin."

“I have been offering my patients UGFS for over 5 years and have performed over 800 procedures. As it is a walk-in/walk-out treatment performed under local anaesthetic and takes about 30 minutes, many of my patients prefer this NICE-approved treatment over surgery. It also works well when used together with endothermal ablation” said Mr Donald Adam, Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon.

“Using UGFS, I have been treating my patients with varicose veins successfully for the last 2 years. Avoiding the hassle of a general anaesthetic and an operating theatre, I am able to offer a treatment to the majority of my patients with symptomatic varicose veins at a time of their choosing said Mr Martin Claridge, Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon.

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