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How effective is the new VenaSeal treatment for varicose veins?

I read that the FDA recently approved VenaSeal as a treatment for varicose veins. Has there been any successful treatment of varicose veins with it yet? Is it really better or that much different than the vein treatments that are already available?


Doctors Answers (3)

VenaSeal is a very new (not necessarily better) FDA-approved procedure for varicose vein closure using a specially formulated n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate used as a clear liquid medical adhesive that polymerizes into a solid plug and closes the vein being treated. In certain locations, where a vein is very close to a nerve, it may be of some advantage. In other cases, possible hypersensitivity to the VenaSeal adhesive could be a serious potential problem. I do not yet see this product as an improvement in existing procedures using thermal ablation, but rather as just another way to treat varicose veins and without a very long track record for safety or long-term effectiveness. There is not a large enough number of treated patients or length of time in-use to be able to evaluate the long-term results or to recommend this novel option.

As this product has only been approved for a short time and has not been used in clinics apart from trials, there is little long-term statistical evidence on effectiveness. I understand that there is some information on post treatment discomfort similar to sealing with a laser, but this is anecdotal. At this stage I would recommend staying with the "tried and true" laser ablation until we are able to have more information.

VenaSeal will be available in about 2-4 weeks. The early reports confirm that it is VERY effective for the first 3 years, and afterwards appears to be permanent, but only time will tell. The minimal pain and safety make it a very appealing option; however, it is not yet covered by insurance, and the product pricing is not yet available, but the entire procedure will use up a typical deductible reserve.

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