The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins in June 2006.

This document replaces previous guidance on Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins (interventional procedure guidance IPG 314).

NICE has published a clinical guideline on Varicose veins in the legs (NICE clinical guideline 168, 2013).


  • Description

    Small valves inside the veins help blood flow properly through them. Varicose veins develop when these valves do not work properly, allowing blood to collect in the veins. This enlarges them and causes the valves to deteriorate further. Varicose veins commonly occur in the legs. Many people have no symptoms, but if they do, these can include heaviness, aching, throbbing, itching, cramps or tiredness in the legs. In severe cases, patients may have skin discolouration or inflammation, or skin ulcers. Foam sclerotherapy involves mixing a chemical with air or another gas to produce a foam, which is injected into the affected vein using ultrasound imaging to monitor its progress. This causes scarring of the inside of the vein so that it becomes blocked. Sometimes patients may need more than 1 injection to block the vein.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    L86.2 Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy for varicose vein of leg

    The NHS Classifications Service of NHS Connecting for Health is the central definitive source for clinical coding guidance and determines the coding standards associated with the classifications (OPCS-4 and ICD-10) to be used across the NHS.   The NHS Classifications Service and NICE work collaboratively to ensure the most appropriate classification codes are provided.

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