There are several different treatments available for varicose veins. In the first instance, a doctor will generally recommend exercise, putting feet up, and wearing compression stockings. For those who still find their varicose veins to be troublesome, there are other options.
Thermal vein closure, also known as endo-thermal ablation, involves the use of heat to close the varicose vein. The process involves using energy either from high-frequency radio waves (radiofrequency ablation) or laser (endovenous laser treatment) to seal the affected veins.
Medtronic manufactures a product called ClosureFast™ which uses radiofrequency energy or heat to close the damaged vein. This redirects blood flow to healthy veins.
Local anaesthetic is applied to the treatment area. After treatment, compression stockings need to be worn for at least a week3.
Over 2 million patients have been treated with the ClosureFast procedure in over 100 countries around the world8.
Closurefast offers faster recovery times than either stripping or laser. There is no need for you to be in an operating theatre or stay in hospital1, 5.
After ClosureFast procedures patients report less bruising and swelling than with either stripping or laser and they used less pain killers1, 5.
Nonthermal vein closure involves the delivery of a small amount of medical adhesive to seal the damaged vein, rerouting blood to nearby healthy veins to relieve symptoms.
Medtronic manufactures a product called VenaSeal™ which is used to apply the medical adhesive during nonthermal vein closure procedures.
It also has a faster recovery time, and there’s no need for the patient to wear compression stockings.
Venaseal offers faster recovery times than laser, stripping and RF treatments7. The procedure can be carried out in a doctor's office in under an hour and you will be able to take up normal activity immediately.
There's no need for stockings after the procedure either2, 6.
Before the development of the treatments described above, the traditional way of sorting varicose veins was a process called ligation and stripping. This treatment is still in use today and involves removing the vein – usually under general anesthetic.
During the process, two incisions are made, and a wire is passed through the vein to pull it out. This can cause pain, bruising and bleeding and potential nerve damage.
In some cases, it can even cause deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a vein). It can take up to three weeks to recover from stripping. Patients must wear compression stockings for up to a week after surgical treatment7 for varicose veins4.
With stripping, the post procedure pain and bruising can be significant and you will need to wear compression stockings for 1-2 weeks.4
The varicose veins treatment decision is to be made by a certified healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional to discuss your treatment options.
Rasmussen LH. et al. Randomised clinicaltrialcomparingendovenouslaser ablat on. radlofrequency ablation,foam sderotherapy andsurglcalstrippingfor greatsaphenous \laricose veins.BritishJournal ofSurgery. 2011:98: 1079-87.
Estimated from Epstein D, Onida S, Bootun R, Ortega-Ortega M, Davies AH. Cost-Effectiveness of Current and Emerging Treatments of Varicose Veins. Value Health. 2018 Aug;21(8):911-920. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2018.01.012. Epub 2018 Mar 15. PMID: 30098668.
Morrison N, Gibson K, Mcenroe S, et al. Randomized trial comparing cyanoacrylate embolization and radiofrequency ablation for incompetent great saphenous veins (VeClose). J Vasc Surg. 2015;61(4):985-94
Shepherd AC, Gohel MS, Brown LC, Metcalfe MJ, Hamish M, Davies AH. Randomized clinical trial of VNUS
ClosureFAST radiofrequency ablation versus laser for varicose veins. Br J Surg. 2010; 97:810-8.
Carr J, Jennifer W. The VenaSeal™ System in clinical practice. Evtoday. 2016;15:30-31
Salmerón LM. 27 Congreso Nacional del Capitulo de Flebologia y Linfologia de la SEACV – Sevilla. 2 y 3 de mayo de 2019.
ClosureFast Procedures. Medtronic data on file, 2019.