'Superglue' Adhesive Safely Seals Varicose Veins
Heartmail Spring 2018
APRIL 12, 2018
Minimally Invasive Treatment Means Less Pain, Faster Recovery
Varicose veins (VV) can develop as early as age 18, and will affect the majority of women and a large percentage of men as they grow older.
“In a healthy individual, blood is pumped through the body’s veins to the heart through a system of valves,” explains vascular surgeon Allen Hamdan, MD, Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “The valves open in only one direction, to prevent blood from flowing backwards.”
When the valves malfunction, blood flow is disrupted and pooled blood collects in the area, resulting in enlarged and misshapen varicose veins.
Symptoms of varicose veins can include:
- Aching, painful legs and leg cramps
- “Heavy-feeling” legs that make walking and daily activity difficult
- Leg swelling and, more rarely, the development of skin ulcers or bleeding
Minimally Invasive Medical Adhesive
Today, a number of highly effective non-invasive treatments are available to manage varicose veins.
The most recent innovation in non-invasive vein treatments is VenaSeal, a medical adhesive that physically seals the bulging varicose vein and redirects blood to flow through nearby healthy veins. BIDMC is one of the first medical centers in the Boston area to offer this treatment option.
“This treatment is sometimes called ‘superglue’ for the veins,” says Hamdan.
The outpatient procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 15 minutes. Using ultrasound imaging as a guide, the adhesive is delivered through a catheter by way of a single small needle puncture in the leg.
“Because VenaSeal requires only a single needle insertion to deliver the sealant, a patient’s risk of pain and infection is reduced,” explains Hamdan.
VenaSeal also results in faster recovery time, no scarring and eliminates the need for patients to wear compression stockings following the procedure.
Any patient who has large, protruding veins that cause pain, throbbing, itching, aching or heaviness is a candidate for this treatment after appropriate evaluation by a vascular surgeon and an office ultrasound exam. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation in BIDMC’s Vascular Laboratory, please call 617-632-9959.