Varicose veins are swollen up veins usually seen as black and blue color lines seen in the legs or feet. The veins enlarge when the valve of the veins does not work properly to allow blood to flow. Varicose veins generally do not need treatment but if these lead to swelling, pain and ache in the legs, causing considerable pain, there are various treatments available for such situations. It also happens that due to blood pressure, the varicose veins may rupture leading to a varicose ulcer on the skin. It is important for these reasons that varicose veins are treated when it shows signs of pain and discomfort.
23% adults are seen to suffer from varicose veins and new medical technologies have come up that makes treatment of varicose veins easy and completely pain less.
Traditional methods of curing varicose veins
Traditionally there were number of surgical methods which were available where the affected vein was removed from the body under general anaesthesia. Recovery after surgical stripping ended up being a long process. It used to take patients 2 weeks to a month to completely recover from such surgery. Later there came thermal ablation where radio or laser frequency was used to treat and seal a varicose vein in a minimally invasive procedure. This too had repercussions for multiple local anaesthesia had to be used for this method.
The most recent and innovative technology for treating varicose vein is a type of medical glue known as ‘VenaSeal’ (cyanoacrylate) which physically closes down the vein and seals the defective vein from further use.
Procedure for VenaSeal
Use of VenaSeal is a minimally invasive procedure where a small amount of vein glue is placed inside the saphenous vein in the thigh through a small catheter. Once the glue is placed, it goes through a process of hardening (sclerosis) shutting the vein from farther use, after which the glue is absorbed by the body. Once the vein is closed down, blood starts passing through the other healthy veins in the leg.
Effectiveness of vein glue
VenaSeal has been effectively used in United States and Europe for the last 5 years. A recent study by the German company VeClose shows that the success rate of VenaSeal is upto 98.9% and leads to lesser complications than surgery or laser treatments. Unlike other medical grade glue VenaSeal polymerises instantly the moment it comes in contact with the blood in the vein. This means that the glue works faster than other medical glue which means less migration. The glue itself is elastic and soft thus not proving to be uncomfortable for the patient post application. It is undetectable. The glue works as an ‘anti-microbe’ against gram-positive organisms. It has no adverse long term effects. This procedure makes it possible to treat two or more veins in a single sitting.
Some of the benefits of vein glue are:
- VenaSeal is safer as it does not require regional nerve blockage or large amounts of aneasthesia unlike other treatments.
- It does not require the use of pre-procedure drugs.
- Patients can return to normal activity right after the procedure.
- VenaSeal does not have the risks of skin burn or nerve damage which is a possibility in laser or radiofrequency ablations.
- Since there is no possibility of pain from the VenaSeal treatment there is no requirement of pain medicines or stockings post treatment.
- The whole procedure takes around 15 minutes if done by experienced hands.
What type of veins can be treated by VenaSeal?
Vaginal, pelvic and vulvar varicose veins can be treated by this medical glue. These veins occur around the groin area and can worsen due to previous treatments through traditional means or due to multiple pregnancies. Sometimes it develops after a single pregnancy as well.
VenaSeal can treat the development of varicose veins in these areas.
Lipoedema is a progressive condition that is chronic and is usually noticed in the legs and thighs due to the abnormal increase and accumulation of fatty tissues in those regions. Even ankles, lower legs, thighs and buttocks have the possibility of being affected by lipoedema.
VenaSeal treats these as well.
While varicose veins are relatively less dangerous, it has the potential of leading to future complications. Moreover, with the development of easy treatments for varicose veins with no post treatment complications it is best to get them treated before it leads to more complicated procedures.