Is Superglue Effective for Varicose Veins?

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December 8, 2021 The Vein Institute

VenaSeal superglue represents the next generation of varicose vein treatments. But how does it work? And just how effective is it? 

How does VenaSeal work?

VenaSeal catheter, used in medical superglue varicose vein treatments

VenaSeal catheter on a white background next to a small vial of VenaSeal superglue

Like most modern varicose vein treatments, VenaSeal’s goal is to seal the varicose vein shut. Once the seal is in place, your body will reroute your blood through surrounding healthy veins and absorb the varicose one. 

You’ll notice your varicose vein starting to fade after the treatment and disappear within a few weeks. 

What’s the superglue treatment like?

Doctors performing medical superglue treatment for varicose veins using VenaSeal

2 doctors performing a VenaSeal varicose vein treatment on a patient’s varicose leg veins

Like other modern varicose vein procedures, VenaSeal only requires a tiny incision or a poke with a needle. Hence, you won’t need to go under general anaesthesia. And you won’t need to endure a long hospital stay.

At the start of the treatment, we’ll take an ultrasound scan of the problem area to find the varicose veins and branches needing to be sealed shut. Then, after administering a small amount of local anaesthetic to your leg, your doctor will inject VenaSeal into your vein. They’ll do this through either a catheter or needle (depending on vein size). 

Within a few minutes, the glue will set and the vein will shut. Once that happens, a nurse will bandage over the injection site. As the glue works fast, you can return to your usual activities right after leaving our office (barring some aftercare steps you’ll need to follow to ensure a speedy recovery).

What happens after the treatment?

First, you’ll need to do those aftercare steps. 

These may include:

  • Avoiding sitting or standing for too long
  • Elevating your legs for a few minutes day 
  • Going for a 30 minute walk after the procedure and every day after for at least 2 weeks
  • Avoiding strenuous activities
  • Wearing compression stocking (though this step is generally not required for varicose vein superglue treatments)

Around 3 weeks after your procedure, we’ll organise a follow-up appointment to ensure your treatment was successful. If needed, we can also book you in to treat any stubborn smaller branch veins with sclerotherapy. 

And 6 weeks after the treatment, we’ll do a final ultrasound scan to ensure everything healed properly and no more work needs doing.

What is VenaSeal Made of?

3D model of molecular structure of cyanoacrylate glue, the main component of VenaSeal medical suparglue

3D ball and stick model of methyl cyanoacrylate’s molecular structure

VenaSeal is a type of glue known as a “cyanoacrylate”. This glue is not new. Medical professionals have been using to repair wounds and skin incisions for over 50 years. 

Cyanoacrylate has also been used to seal diseased arteries shut. So, VenaSeal is simply a new application for a well-known and widely used medical adhesive.

How effective is VenaSeal?

We’re often asked “is superglue effective for varicose veins?” Well, numerous studies show that VenaSeal has a 92-95% success rate over 5 years, which is (almost) equivalent to endovenous laser or radiofrequency ablation. However, VenaSeal doesn’t require laser or radiofrequency energy, which carry some risk of skin burns and nerve damage.

How Do I know if VenaSeal is Right for me?

Dr Zil discussing varicose vein treatment options with a patient

Dr Zil discussing ultrasound scan results with a patient to determine which treatment is right for her

During your consultation, one of our doctors will take an ultrasound of your veins, go over your medical history, and perform an allergen test to see if this is the best varicose vein treatment option for you.

Ready to take the next step?

Call us at 1300 535 017.