Skip to main content



What is a Varithena Chemical Ablation?

Varithena® (polidocanol injectable foam) is a prescription medicine used to treat varicose veins caused by problems with the great saphenous vein (GSV) and other related veins in the leg's GSV system. Varithena®improves symptoms related to or caused by varicose veins, and the appearance of varicose veins.

What is the purpose of Varithena chemical ablation?

Varithena treats a wide range of varicose veins in the GSV system, including:

Tortuous (twisted) veins, veins above and below the knee, veins with small, medium, and large diameters. Veins previously treated with other methods

How is the procedure performed?

The doctor administers a small amount of Varithena® through a catheter or by direct injection into the malfunctioning vein.The Varithena® microfoam fills and treats the desired section of the vein. The diseased vein collapses and the microfoam is deactivated. When the malfunctioning vein collapses, blood flow shifts to healthier veins nearby.

Will the procedure be painful?

There may be minor soreness and bruising. Any discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers as necessary.

What are the discharge instructions?

Compression stockings can help: Promote good treatment results, improve blood flow, reduce swelling, relieve aching and heaviness, and prevent blood clots. You will have a dressing over the area where your vein treatment was. You may remove the dressing during your first shower. You may have some mild discomfort following your treatment that can be relieved by taking your pain medications as needed. If you are having extreme discomfort, notify the office immediately. If you develop severe swelling or pain throughout the leg proceed to the emergency room.

Can I exercise?

Walking improves blood circulation in your legs. You are encouraged to walk for at least 10 minutes daily for the first 28 days after treatment. Moving your legs is important to help prevent blood clots. Reposition your legs often, and try not to stand or sit for longer than an hour at a time.

What are the Risks and Side Effects?

The most common side effects seen with Varithena are leg pain or discomfort, injection site bruising or pain, and potentially serious blood clots in the leg veins. Severe allergic reactions have been reported in people treated with liquid forms of polidocanol and some patients have died from these reactions.

How long does it take for the procedure to work?

The Varithena procedure takes usually 28 days to work on patients, being it is a chemical ablation, it does take longer.

Does my insurance cover this procedure?

Varithena Chemical ablation is usually covered by most private insurers and Medicare when proof of medical necessity and previous conservative therapy is provided. Patients should consult their individual insurance carriers to determine their eligibility.