Treatment for varicose veins has advanced since the days of surgical stripping. One of the more recent options is an innovative, minimally-invasive closure system that treats varicose veins by gluing them shut. At The Vein Insitute, our doctors use VenSeal™ and we are often asked by patients, what is medical superglue (VenaSeal)? The below explains how VenaSeal™ works to treat varicose veins, and if the treatment is right for you.
VenaSeal™ has been traditionally used to close off the main saphenous vein in the thigh; however, it has proven to be successful in treating faulty veins in the pelvic/vulvar region. Most patients find the VenaSeal™ outpatient procedure to be extremely comfortable, with only a mild ‘pulling’ sensation experienced during treatment.
How VenaSeal™ works
A small amount of VenaSeal™ adhesive is injected into the diseased vein through a gun feeding into a small catheter. The catheter is strategically inserted into the vein with the assistance of ultrasound-guided imagery. Generally, the procedure will go as follows:
- Using Ultrasound, the leg is scanned to locate the varicose veins.
- A small dosage of local anesthetic is administered to your leg.
- Using a small catheter, the VenaSeal™ adhesive is introduced into the vein.
- The physician applies minimal pressure to the leg to aid in the sealing of the vein. As the medical adhesive or “superglue” (cyanoacrylate) is administered, the vein will undergo a process called sclerosis (hardening) and will be gradually absorbed by the body.
- The blood is then immediately re-routed through other normally functioning veins.
- The small catheter is removed.
After the procedure, a small bandage is placed over the incision site and patients can immediately return to their normal activities.
A fortnight after your initial varicose vein treatment a follow-up appointment is required to ensure the success of the procedure. Should there be smaller branch veins in need of treatment, this will be carried out using sclerotherapy.
Another 3 weeks later, you can expect another follow-up appointment for a scan of your leg to verify that all the affected veins have remained shut. At this stage, the treatment can be declared completely effective if the results are as per expected.
What is medical superglue (VenaSeal)?
- VenaSeal™ is a clinically-proven treatment with a high safety and success rate.
- It’s the only procedure for treating venous disorders that is non-thermal, non-tumescent and non-sclerosant.
- Unlike endovenous ablation (EVA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) which use heat to close off the veins, VenaSeal™ carries a lower risk of skin burns or nerve damage.
- The VenaSeal™ closure system does not require any pain medication post-treatment or the need to wear compression stockings.
- No nerve block, general anaesthesia or pre-procedure drugs are required with VenaSeal™ treatment.
- Patients reported minimal pain, discomfort or side-effects such as bruising following the VenaSeal™ procedure.
What Does VenaSeal™ Treat?
Lipoedema: a chronic and progressive condition where abnormal and excessive amount of fatty tissue is deposited in the body, typically on the upper and lower legs.
Is VenaSeal™ better than laser?
Both VenaSeal™ and laser ablation are effective treatment options for varicose veins. However, each is more suitable for different stages of vein treatment. While the VenaSeal™ closure system is most suited for small veins, the laser ablation system is best for large varicose veins.
If you’re nervous about laser treatment, here is some more information: Is Laser for Varicose Veins Safe?
What is the recovery like after VenaSeal™?
Most people are able to make a quick recovery after VenaSeal™. Since there’s no need for anaesthesia, multiple injections or pain medication, patients are able to resume their life right away with only a tiny incision and bandage over the treatment site.
While VenaSeal™ is 98.9% effective at alleviating varicose veins and associated symptoms, there’s a small chance the condition may return after the procedure. Patients are advised to stay active and exercise regularly, to maintain a healthy weight and avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time to prevent recurrence of the disease.
What problems may arise from using VenaSeal™?
Rare risks do exist with VenaSeal™ treatment. These include an allergic reaction, deep vein thrombosis, soreness, and pigmentation. Fortunately, these risks are no more than other treatments for your varicose veins.
Are you a candidate for VenaSeal™?
If you suffer from varicose veins in your legs or pelvic area, you may be a suitable candidate for the VenaSeal™ closure system. The procedure is particularly effective for varicose veins two centimetres or larger in diameter, or for hidden varicose veins buried deep within the leg.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for the procedure, however. Certain health conditions or severe venous disorders may require other treatment or surgery. It’s best to consult with a vein specialist (phlebologist) to learn if this treatment is right for you.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive treatment program to treat varicose veins, with non-surgical laser treatment techniques. The benefits of laser treatment to patients are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work
To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 535 017. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.