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 (NICE interventional procedure guidance 314, August 2009).

NICE has published a clinical guideline on varicose veins in the legs (NICE guideline CG168, July 2013).


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.

Coding recommendations

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

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) accreditation logo