VenaSeal, the New Vein Treatment
There is a new varicose vein treatment that is getting a bit of promotion, but you should be aware that while attractive, it is still relatively unproven and not covered by insurance. VenaSeal® Sapheon Closure System was recently approved as a new device by the FDA to treat reflux in the saphenous vein, the common cause of varicose veins.
Normal flow of blood in the leg veins is bottom to top, against the pressure of gravity. If the one-way valves in the vein weaken, as is common in hereditary conditions, gravity pushes the blood backward down the leg, and varicose veins occur. Symptoms you will commonly see with backflow (reflux) are leg heaviness, fatigue, swelling, itching, skin discoloration or even blood clots.
The current gold-standard in treating reflux in the saphenous vein is the Closure Procedure, done with radiofrequency (VNUS Closure). While this and the above named VenaSeal both close the vein, VNUS Closure uses heat, while VenaSeal uses a "glue" to seal the vein. The purported advantage of VenaSeal is the avoidance of a few very small needle sticks and local anesthesia, but the recovery after both procedures is immediate. Symptom relief is often quick rapid.
Of note to most patients, medical insurance recognizes VNUS Closure as medically necessary, while there is not yet enough data on VenaSeal, so coverage is not available. The procedure is a cash transaction. As our collective experience grows, VenaSeal may supplant other procedures, but currently is it too new to recommend widely.
When you have questions or concerns about your varicose veins, be sure to see a qualified, experienced vascular surgeon with expertise in venous disease.