VenaSeal™: The Newest Treatment Option for Varicose Veins
Treatment for varicose veins has come a long way, evolving from painful vein-stripping surgical procedures to in-office treatment using heat (thermal ablation)—laser or radiofrequency—to close problem veins. The latest option, the VenaSeal™ closure system, uses an advanced medical adhesive to effectively close the diseased vein segment.
The procedure is straightforward. We insert a syringe containing the medical “glue” into the system’s dispensing gun, which is attached to a catheter. Using ultrasound to guide us, we advance the catheter into the diseased vein, release the adhesive into specific areas, and apply compression to close the vein. Blood flow is thus rerouted to nearby healthy veins, which improves circulation and relieves most symptoms. Your body creates scar tissue around the adhesive over time to keep the vessel permanently closed.
At Advanced Vein Care Center, we are taking a cautious, responsible approach to employing this new treatment alternative.
Advantages of VenaSeal™
With the VenaSeal™ system, little to no local anesthesia is required, which may be appealing to patients wishing to avoid the injections of local anesthetic used for thermal ablation procedures.
Most patients also experience a faster return to their normal activities, which is often immediate. Laser or radiofrequency patients typically require a brief recovery period of one to a few days during which they may need to limit their activity.
Further, VenaSeal™ treatment doesn’t cause the inflammation and bruising that often results from thermal ablation, so legs also look better almost immediately, with only a small bandage at the access site. In addition, patients do not need to wear compression stockings following treatment.
No medical procedures are without risk. When discussing treatment options with our patients, we provide complete transparency about both potential benefits and risks.
Known risks include hypersensitivity allergic reactions and increased incidence of superficial phlebitis (acutely inflamed and clotted superficial veins).
The adhesive is categorized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class 3 medical device, so theoretically it is in the same category of other medical devices such as pacemakers and breast implants. As of the fall of 2019, a five-year study on a small number of patients (approximately 50) has not shown any prohibitive long-term adverse effects; its safety beyond five years is still unknown.
Because cost is sometimes a consideration for patients, it’s also good to know that VenaSeal™ is a more expensive treatment option than laser or radiofrequency procedures. While insurers cover much of the additional expense, patients with high deductible policies may experience higher out of pocket expenses.
Choosing Your Best Treatment Option
In our practice, we perform more than one thousand venous treatments every year, with a very low complication rate. We’ll talk to you about your options, detailed benefits and risks of each treatment option, and what you can expect before, during and after the procedure. We treat every patient as an individual and tailor our treatment plans based on your unique needs and medical history.
If it’s time to address your varicose veins, contact us to schedule a consultation.