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Dermatol Surg. 2001 Jan;27(1):58-60.

Preliminary experience with a new sclerosing foam in the treatment of varicose veins.

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Glauco Bassi Foundation, Trieste, Italy.



Recently a new method of using a foam sclerosing agent for the treatment of leg veins has been described. We present a pilot study of a new technique for producing the sclerosing foam (Tessari's method) (SFT) and its use in sclerotherapy of major and minor varicosities.


A preliminary multicenter experience of sclerotherapy performed by means of this new kind of sclerosing foam made of purified sodium tetradecylsulfate is described. The authors evaluated the safety and efficacy of different doses and concentrations of the drug as well as different methods of preparing the foam in addition, the results of this technique were evaluated.


Over a 6-week period the three authors performed sclerotherapy or duplex-guided sclerotherapy using SFT, treating 77 patients. The SFT was formed using a three-way stopcock and two syringes, mixing air with liquid sodium tetradecylsulfate to create a foam. Each author used different concentrations (0.1-3%) and doses (2-8 ml) of SFT according to the size and number of the veins. Alternate methods of preparing the foam were examined as well. Seventy percent of the sclerotherapy sessions were performed on either the long or short saphenous veins, recurrent varices, or collaterals. Thirty percent of the treatments were for reticular varices and telangiectases.


At 1-month follow-up, the vast majority of treated larger veins were either obliterated or showed a normal state of cephalad blood flow. Results for minor varicosities were good, but with related complications of hyperpigmentation and small areas of cutaneous necrosis. Two patients experienced transient scotomas and one patient developed segmental phlebitis of a collateral vein. The best foam was obtained by mixing one part liquid sodium tetradecylsulfate and four to five parts air, but the duration of the foam product was also related to several other factors.


This preliminary pilot study demonstrates that the technique of producing sclerosing foam according to Tessari's method (three-way stopcock device) is very promising, especially for larger veins. No serious complications were reported, and further standardization of the method may improve the results and feasibility of this technique. Further studies are needed to validate this new technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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