Veins

Do you experience the discomfort and swelling of varicose veins?

If so, you may be suffering from venous reflux disease. Approximately 25 million people in the United States suffer from this condition. Traditionally, patients diagnosed with venous reflux would undergo vein stripping surgery. Now, patients can be treated with the VenefitTM procedure - a minimally invasive and more comfortable alternative to painful vein stripping surgery.

The Venous System Anatomy

The venous system is made up of a network of veins, including:

  • Superficial veins - veins located close to the surface of the skin.
  • Deep veins - larger veins located deep in the leg.
  • Perforator veins - veins that connect the superficial veins to the deep veins.

The VenefitTM procedure, treats venous reflux disease in the superficial venous system, often the underlying cause of painful varicose veins.
Veins-1

Understanding Venous Reflex Disease

Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux disease develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. As a result, vein valves will not close properly, leading to symptoms of:

  • Varicose veins
  • Pain
  • Swollen limbs
  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Skin changes
  • Ulcers

Veins-2

Experience the VenefitTM Procedure

The Venefit procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Using ultrasound, your physician will positionthe ClosureFASTTM catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter powered by radio frequency (RF) energy delivers heat to the vein wall. As the thermal energy is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and the vein is sealed closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to the other healthy veins.
Veins-3
Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site, and additional compression may be provided to aid healing. Your doctor may encourage you to walk, and to refrain from extended standing and strenuous activities for a period of time.

Most patients who undergo the Venefit procedure typically resume normal activities within 1-2 days.

Are you a candidate

Many factors contribute to the presence of venous reflux disease, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family history
  • Heavy lifting
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Obesity
  • Standing profession

Using ultrasound to scan your leg(s), your physician will determine if venous reflux is present.

Procedural highlights

  • Relief of symptoms
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Can be performed under local anesthesia
  • Most patients resume normal activities within 1-2 days
  • Good cosmetic outcome with minimal or no scarring, bruising or swelling

Veins-4

Indications:

The VenefitTM procedures treat leg veins in the superficial and perforating system that have venous reflux, the underlying cause of varicose veins and venous ulcers. Individual results may vary based on each patient's condition.

Contraindications:

Patients will thrombus (blood clots) in the vein segment to be treated should not have the VenefitTM procedures.

Potential Complications:

As with all medical procedures, potential risk and complications exist including vessel perforation (when the catheter punctures the vein wall), thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot travel through the lungs), phlebitis (inflammation of the vein), infection, nerve damage, arteriovenous fistula (an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein), hematoma (bruising), and skin burn. Consult with a physician to receive more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the VenefitTM procedure painful?
A: Patients generally report feeling little, if any pain, during and after the procedure.

Q: How quickly can I resume normal activity?
A: Patients are encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure, and most patients resume normal activities within 1-2 days.

Q: How soon after treatment will my symptoms improve?
A: Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 1-2 weeks following the procedure.

Q: Is there any scarring, bruising, or swelling after the procedure?
A: Most patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising, or swelling following the Venefit procedure.

Q: How is the Venefit procedure different from endovenous laser?
A: In the only head-to-head trial of its kind, the ClosureFASTTM catheter showed statistical superiority over 980nm endovenous laser. Patients treated with the ClouserFAST catheter experienced less pain, less bruising, fewer complications and realized quality of life improvement up to four times faster than those treated with endovenous laser ablation.1

Q: How is the Venefit procedure different from vein stripping?
A: During vein stripping, incisions are made in the groin and calf, and a stripper tool is threaded through the diseased vein, to pull the vein out of the leg. Within the Venefit procedure, only one small incision is made at the insertion site and the vein is then closed and left in place. This minimally invasive approach virtually eliminates pain and bruising associated with vein stripping surgery.2,3

Q: Is the Venefit procedure covered by insurance?
A: The Venefit procedure is covered by most health insurances for patients diagnosed with venous reflux.

    References

1Almeida JI, Kaufman J, Goeckeritz O, et al. Radiofrequency Endovenous ClosureFAST versus Laser Ablation for the Treatment of Great Saphenous Reflux: A Multicenter, Single-Blinded, Randomized Study (Recovery Study). JVIR; June 2009
2Lurie F, Creton D, Eklof B, Kabnick LS, Kistner RL, Pichot O, et al. Prospective randomized study of endovenous radiofrequency obliteration. (Closure procedure) versus ligation and stripping in a selected patient population (EVOLVeS Study). J Vasc Surg 2003;38;2:207-14
3Hinchliffe RJ, et al. A prospective randomized controlled trial of VNUS Closure versus Surgery for the treatment of recurrent long saphenous variscose veins. Eur J Vasc Surg 2006 Feb;31;2:212-218

Click here to see our current brochure on this topic.
Click here to visit Dr. Tom's website.