While many clinics still use varicose vein stripping as a treatment for painful varicose veins, we prefer to offer patients treatments that are minimally invasive and don’t require surgery. One such treatment is VenaSeal. This is a closure system that works by gluing veins shut using medical superglue. Yes, really!
VenaSeal closes the main saphenous vein in the thigh that is responsible for causing varicose veins without the risk of damaging nerves. The procedure doesn’t require sedation and lasts approximately half an hour. Patients report feeling comfortable throughout their treatment.
We thought we’d use this post to explain how VenaSeal works and if this is the right varicose veins treatment for you. So, let’s jump in and take a closer look.
What exactly is VenaSeal?
VenaSeal is a non-thermal closure system that takes no more than 30 minutes to complete, requires no sedation, and is a simple out-patient procedure. Unlike RFA (radiofrequency ablation) and EVA (endovenous ablation) that both use heat to close off veins, VenaSeal uses a medical adhesive that lowers the risk of nerve injury and burns to the skin.
With no general anesthetic, nerve block, or pre-medication treatment required, VenaSeal offers a convenient and effective solution to varicose veins. What’s more, patients won’t need pain medication following their treatment nor will they have to wear compression stockings. Compared to other vein treatments, any pain or discomfort is minimal and there are no side effects such as bruising.
Okay, now your interest is piqued, what can VenaSeal treat?
What does VenaSeal treat?
VenaSeal treatment is used to seal or close varicose veins in the lower legs as well as the pelvic, vulva, and vaginal area. Clients often ask us if it is better than laser treatment.
Both VenaSeal and laser ablation are effective treatments for varicose veins but each one is more suited to certain stages of varicose vein treatment. The VenaSeal system is generally more suitable for smaller veins whereas laser ablation is better for large varicose veins.
What’s the procedure for VenaSeal?
First, the leg is scanned using ultrasound and from this, a small catheter is strategically inserted into the diseased vein.
The procedure follows these steps:
- The leg is scanned using ultrasound to locate the varicose veins
- The area is numbed with a topical gel
- A small amount of VenaSeal adhesive feeds into the catheter that directs it into the vein
- A minimal amount of pressure is then applied by the physician to aid the vein’s closure. As the adhesive is administered, the vein hardens in a process known as sclerosis and is gradually absorbed by the body.
- As a result, the blood is diverted to other veins nearby that are functioning normally
- The catheter is then removed
- A bandage is then applied to cover the incision site and patients are free to leave the clinic and go about their normal daily activities.
What happens next?
A follow-up appointment is necessary a couple of weeks after treatment to ensure its success. In the event that smaller branch veins are in need of treatment, we’ll use sclerotherapy.
Another appointment will be required 3 weeks after this when your leg will be scanned to check that all the veins have remained closed. Once this is verified, the treatment can be declared successful.
How is recovery after VenaSeal?
Typically most people make a speedy recovery. Since there is no need for anesthetic, injections, or pain relief medication, patients can get on with life right away with just a tiny incision covered by a bandage. Although VenaSeal has a high success rate of around 98.9%, there is a slight chance that the condition could return after the procedure. We advise patients to remain active and take regular exercise. It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight and avoid sitting or standing for extended periods to help prevent the disease from recurring
Are there any problems associated with VenaSeal?
There are a few rare risks associated with this treatment including deep vein thrombosis, an allergic reaction, pigmentation, and soreness but fortunately, the risk is no higher with VenaSeal than any other varicose vein treatments.
Who is a candidate for VenaSeal?
VenaSeal could be a suitable treatment for a person suffering from varicose veins in the legs or the pelvic region. This procedure is most effective for veins that are around 2 cm or larger in diameter or for varicose veins that are hidden deep within the leg.
That said, not everyone is a suitable candidate. Certain disorders or health conditions may be better suited to an alternative treatment or surgery. It’s always best to liaise with a vein specialist to determine if this is the right treatment for you.
Why not make an appointment with Dr. Akinwande and the team at MINT STL. We specialize in non-surgical scientifically proven methods to treat varicose veins.