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How does keyhole surgery for varicose veins work?

What is keyhole surgery? I heard that it's the fastest way to treat varicose veins, but I can't find a lot of information on the procedure. Is keyhole surgery safe?


Doctors Answers (4)

Keyhole surgery is a technique to access the vein with a specific needle under DUPLEX ULTRASOUND Radiologic supervision. Then using heat or chemical solution, the vein is closed without multiple incisions and traditional vein stripping. These are safe procedures with a well-trained phlebologist and are the preferred methods of treatment of symptomatic varicose vein disease.

Minimally invasive surgery is often called keyhole surgery. The Iowa Vein Clinic completes the majority of cases using Venefit or the VNUS closure technology.

Keyhole surgery is a layman's term for a Laparoscopic surgery that uses one or more rigid cannulas to preform a surgical intervention through one or several small incisions in the skin, and so is less invasive than older open procedures. Gallbladder surgery is often performed laproscopically with a quicker recovery and minimal scarring. In vein treatment, surgical stripping, and other invasive surgical procedures including laproscopically-assisted vein treatments are becoming increasingly uncommon, as they are replaced by more minimally invasive procedures. These include ultrasound-guided, and fiber-optic assisted endovascular thermal ablation techniques (EVLT, EVLS, VNUS and others) and micro-phlebectomies which uses tumescent anesthetics to remove surface varicose veins through several 1mm incisions.

I had to look to find out what "keyhole" surgery is all about. Most of the references are to radiofrequency ablation of saphenous veins which we in the United States know as the VNUS ClosureFast procedure. VNUS decided to change the name of ClosureFast several years ago to "Venefit," but the device is the same catheter which is passed up the vein to deliver heat to seal the saphenous vein closed. The dominant techniques to close the saphenous vein are heat techniques using either radiofrequency or LASER. Other newer minimally-invasive techniques which are FDA-approved are endovenous microfoam (Varithena) and pharmacomechanical (Clarivein) treatment. All of these techniques injure the cells lining the vein causing it to seal shut and eventually to shrink. All of these procedures are performed through needlesticks or tiny incisions.

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