Varicose veins may be a sign of something severe, a condition called Venus Reflux Disease. VRD develops when valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward and pool in the lower leg veins. If superficial Venus Reflux Disease persists, it may cause aching, swelling, cramping, restlessness and even open skin sores.
Treating diseased veins can improve overall blood flow and relieves symptoms. Treatments include compression stockings, and either closing or removing the diseased vein. The Venaseal closure system, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Association, improves blood flow by sealing or closing the diseased vein by delivering a small amount of specially formulated adhesive. This adhesive reroutes the blood through nearby healthy veins.
For people with varicose veins or venous reflux disease, VenaSeal is a minimally invasive way to close a diseased vein. There’s no compression stockings to wear, bruising or downtime and puts patients back on their feet quickly. After a cleaning process, the patient is numbed and a catheter is inserted into the problem vein through a small nick. Then, using ultrasound for guidance, a medical adhesive is delivered into the vein and then the vein is compressed. The procedure takes 30-45 minutes. VenaSeal is not completely risk free and it’s not cheap either. There’s a chance for allergic reaction, deep vein thrombosis and edema. In the U.S., the procedure starts at $2,500 and is not yet covered by insurance.
The gold standard remains a thermal approach. Heat closes the vein, multiple needle sticks are used to numb the area, and compression stockings are required after the procedure. With Venaseal, the adhesive seals the vein, there is usually one needle stick used for numbing the area and in most cases, no compression stockings are needed after the procedure. Venaseal may not be indicated for patients who have thrombophlebitis migraines, acute superficial thrombophlebitis or acute sepsis, and with any procedure, there are risks, which include an allergic reaction to the adhesive, bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, edema, hyperpigmentation and phlebitis.