What Is VenaSeal™?
VenaSeal™ is a vein closure system that is commonly used to resolve the symptoms of venous reflux disease in the lower extremities. Venous reflux disease describes the accumulation of blood in certain parts of veins in which valves are not sufficiently pushing blood upward toward the heart. The VenaSeal™ procedure is currently the only non-sclerosant, non-tumescent, and non-thermal modality approved by the FDA for the treatment of varicose veins. It gets its name from the use of a medical adhesive to close off affected veins so blood can flow through healthier veins nearby.
The VenaSeal™ procedure is conducted in the office. During treatment, the provider uses ultrasound guidance to identify areas of venous insufficiency. Observing the diseased vein on a screen, the doctor can accurately insert a small catheter into the vein just beneath the skin. The external aspect of the catheter is attached to a dispensing gun that delivers medical adhesive into the vein. As the adhesive is dispensed, slight compression is applied. This causes the inner walls of the vein to stick together, sealing the vessel so blood is forced to redirect. Once the affected length of the vein has been sealed, a small bandage is placed onto the area where the catheter has been inserted. The patient may resume normal activities immediately without the need for ongoing compression.
What Is VenaSeal™ Made Of?
VenaSeal™ is a type of medical glue that is classified as a cyanoacrylate. cyanoacrylates have been widely used in medicine for more than fifty years. They have been beneficial in closing incisions and repairing small wounds, alleviating the need for stitches.
The VenaSeal™ cyanoacrylate is formulated with care to demonstrate unique properties among other medical adhesives. VenaSeal™:
- Is soft and elastic so it is not felt by the patient after it has been inserted into the vein.
- Polymerises rapidly when it comes into contact with blood inside the vein.
- Remains in the close vicinity of its insertion point, migrating only minimally.
- Is anti-microbial against gram-positive organisms.
- Does not provoke long-term side effects.
How does VenaSeal™ treatment work?
As a medical adhesive, VenaSeal™ works by causing the inner walls of the treated vein to become sticky. When the doctor presses on the skin over the vein, the walls stick together, causing the vein to close. Without a passage through the dysfunctional vein, blood circulates elsewhere. Over time, the vein is dismantled and absorbed. Its appearance then fades.
Who Is A Candidate For VenaSeal™ Treatment?
Most people who want to get rid of varicose veins can be good candidates for VenaSeal™. The procedure is ideal for veins that are two or more centimeters in diameter, as well as veins that are located in deeper layers of tissue. The use of ultrasound imaging helps us locate affected veins and target them with a high degree of accuracy.
How Does VenaSeal™ Differ From Thermal Energy Procedures?
VenaSeal™ has been developed as an alternative to thermal energy procedures such as radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation involves the insertion of a catheter that delivers radiofrequency thermal energy into the vein. This energy heats the inside of the vein a sufficient amount to cause it to close and form scar tissue. Because heat is involved in both radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation, the nerve endings around the vein become responsive. For this reason, both of these treatments require some type of anesthetic. Radiofrequency treatment is usually performed with a tumescent or another anesthetic. Laser treatment may be performed with a topical anesthetic only.
What Are The Benefits Of VenaSeal™ Treatment?
Compared to thermal energy vein treatments, VenaSeal™ offers significant benefits such as:
- A single insertion of a needle. If anesthetic is used, it is applied to the skin in the form of a cream or ointment. The only needle inserted is the tiny catheter that delivers the medical adhesive into the vein.
- Minimal discomfort, if any. Because there is no heating of tissues, VenaSeal™ treatment does not cause pain or burning that is common to other vein treatments.
- Fast recovery. Patients are able to resume all normal activities the day after treatment.
- No compression. The strong adhesive inserted into the vein achieves closure all on its own without the need for prolonged compression using special garments.
What Is Recovery Like After VenaSeal™ Treatment?
Patients need not arrange time off work or other activities when they choose VenaSeal™. Walking and normal light activities can be resumed immediately.
Is The VenaSeal™ Treatment Painful?
VenaSeal™ is a comfortable treatment that does not have the same anesthesia requirements as thermal energy vein treatments. Other than one small needle-prick as the catheter is inserted, patients do not experience discomfort.
When Can I Return To My Normal Activity After VenaSeal™ Treatment?
Normal activities can be resumed the day after VenaSeal™ treatment.