For many people, varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue that affects self-confidence. They are the patients who suffer from pain, legs that feel heavy, swollen limbs, and sometimes leg ulcers. The VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive therapy that has greatly reduced the use of vein stripping, which was for many years the standard varicose vein treatment.
Overview of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are actually common. As many as 41 percent of U.S. women develop them, Washington University in St. Louis reports. Using heat to treat the disorder is a relatively new concept.
Over time, one-way valves in leg veins become damaged or break down. This creates an inability to transport blood toward the heart, causing blood to pool behind the valve. As the pool grows, the vein enlarges. Ultimately, the vessel becomes engorged, with a dark blue or purplish cast and sometimes a cauliflower-like appearance. The underlying condition is known as chronic venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, five factors increase a person’s risk of developing the vein problem that leads to varicose vessels:
- Advancing age: Years that pass create wear and tear on valves in veins.
- Being female: Hormonal factors might make women more likely than men to develop the disorder.
- Genetics: If other family members suffered from varicose veins, an individual has a greater-than-average risk for them.
- Extra pounds: Being obese or even overweight puts additional pressure on veins.
- Extended sitting or standing: Staying in either position for a long period adversely affects blood flow.
How This Vein Treatment Works
Varicose vessels link to issues with saphenous vein valves, according to Jefferson University Hospitals. The saphenous vein runs from the ankle to the groin area.
Washington University indicates that the Closure procedure first become available for U.S. treatment in 1999. It utilizes radiofrequency or laser heat that a vein doctor inserts into the saphenous vein’s wall.
A vascular surgeon delivers heat to the vein via a slender catheter inserted near the patient’s knee and then positions it in the groin area. The procedure requires just one small incision to seal the vein shut. Healthy veins take over the job of transporting blood.
This procedure takes around 45 minutes. Patients typically go home within a few hours after the surgeon finishes it.
The University of Chicago Medicine reports that this state-of-the-art option for treating varicose veins offers patients many benefits. Among the most important are these:
- Bruising is minimal.
- Patients suffer little if any pain.
- Most individuals return to normal activities within a day.
Patients can learn more about this option during a consultation with a vein doctor. The physician will take a medical history, conduct an exam, explain potential risks, and determine whether the prospective patient suffering from vein disease is a good candidate for the procedure.