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With about one in five adults affected, varicose veins are a common medical condition. Lumpy, painful, and occasionally linked to more dangerous disorders like deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins are a serious issue with which to contend. Luckily, researchers and developers continually create new interventions for varicose veins. Recently, the VenaSeal™ closure system by Medtronic has introduced a fascinating solution for varicose veins. Mainly, it offers a superglue-like substance to block the damaged vein.
Here are the facts you need to know about this new intervention:
What is Venaseal?
There are various techniques for healing varicose veins. Common ones include radiofrequency ablation (or RFA), which uses thermal energy through a radiofrequency catheter to close the vein. The VenaSeal™ closure system, in contrast, is entirely non-thermal.
Technically speaking, VenaSeal™ treatment provides relief from varicose veins by delivering endovascular embolization with coaptation. In other words, it blocks (occludes) the varicose vein by stopping blood flow and causing the venous walls to join together. To do this, VenaSeal™ utilizes a nBCA-based adhesive solution or glue. This specialized adhesive is injected into the vein in question, where it immediately begins to solidify once it contacts body fluids or tissue inside the vein.
The adhesive stops blood flow sufficiently to start the process of occluding the damaged vein. The glue eventually becomes encapsulated within the vein, which should allow the vein to remain blocked, efficiently neutralizing the varicose vein.
What is the Venaseal Procedure?
According to Medtronic, the manufacturer of VenaSeal™, the patient must have an ultrasound of the superficial vein legs before the treatment. Once approved by a physician, the VenaSeal™ catheter (or hollow tube) is connected to a dispenser gun which houses the superglue-like adhesive. The catheter is then inserted at various points in the damaged vein to introduce the glue. Afterward, the catheter is removed, and the site is bandaged.
Most patients can return to their activities of daily living more or less directly after the procedure, which is one of the benefits of the VenaSeal™ closure system. Once it’s done its work to occlude the vein, the injected adhesive will be naturally absorbed by the body.
Benefits & Clinical Trials
Faster Healing Time
In 222 study subjects, vein closure follow-up studies showed the difference in healing time between radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and cyanoacrylate adhesive (VenaSeal™). At one month post-procedure, 100% of those who’d received the glue reported occlusion of the vein, versus only 87% of the RFA patients. Although by the end of 12 months there were similar occlusion rates in both groups, the VenaSeal™ patients healed quicker.
Less Pain & Bruising
In comparison with subjects receiving RFA, there was less bruising reported three days after the procedure with VenaSeal™ closure system. VenaSeal™ patients also reported less pain during operation than their RFA counterparts.
The use of thermal ablation for varicose veins requires practitioners to insert several needles containing tumescent anesthesia along the vein in question. The VenaSeal™ closure system is non-tumescent, which means the patient won’t need to be stuck with multiple needles. No needle sticks are indeed more comfortable, especially for patients who dislike needles. This can also decrease the risk of nerve damage.
This study showed that the VenaSeal™ closure system was responsible for fewer complications at a midterm follow up when compared with RFA. In the RFA group, there was a 16% rate of superficial phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) at midterms; with VenaSeal™, the rate was only 5% when measured at the same time.
As with any medical procedure, the use of the VenaSeal™ closure system requires a consultation with a physician to make sure it’s an appropriate intervention, especially if the patient has any history of allergies with the specialized adhesive. When it’s considered necessary, this superglue for your veins can be a great alternative to thermal-based varicose vein treatments.
If you’re interested in speaking to a professional about the VenaSeal™ closure system or any other varicose vein treatments, this Vein Specialist guide can help you with your research.
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