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What upcoming advances in vein treatment are there?

I know there are new medical advances all the time. I'm wondering what new advances may be coming up in spider vein and varicose vein treatment. What upcoming advances are there? Will there soon be new ways of treating problem veins?


Doctors Answers (7)

The newest treatment for varicose veins is radiofrequency ablation. This technology allows us to close your varicose veins in the office with no down time. We are able to insert a catheter into the problematic vein and this catheter will supply the energy necessary to seal the vein permanently.

Advances in vein treatment are expected to include novel alternative methods of endovenous ablation (both mechanical and chemical ablation options), and improved sclerosant choices and methods. Endovenous laser and RF varicose vein treatments appear to be mature technology with only small incremental improvements expected.

There has not been anything dramatic in advances in treatment of spider veins. Sclerotherapy injections are still the gold standard with the addition of an appropriate topical laser. There is a radiofrequency device which has had limited appeal by patients and sclerotherapists. I have tested one such device several times in different improved stages and have not incorporated it into our practice. With treating varicose veins, there are some new/old modalities which are in FDA approval process which may be used to seal refluxing saphenous veins with a foamed solution. This should only be performed by experienced vascular surgeons to reduce complications. It is not currently on the market. Endovenous ablation of refluxing saphenous veins is currently the most effective method with the addition of phlebectomy (removal of larger varicose veins through tiny punctures) all done under local anesthetic with no hospital or surgery center needed. This procedure is an office based procedure and is the most efficient and cost effective treatment. Many hospitals encourage their doctors to unnecessarily use surgery centers, which increases the risk and cost with conscious sedation and facility fees.

The current state of the art is VNUS closure has replaced stripping, with much improved results and patient satisfaction.

Who knows? There are so many incredible ways to do it now.

Varithena is a new foam polidocanol treatment for varicose veins that shows good promise in trials.

Radiofrequency (VeinGogh or VeinWave) is the latest method for treating small spider veins and has been around for several years now. More progress has been made for treating varicose veins and their saphenous vein origins in the last decade including endovenous laser and radiofrequency ablation. Having received FDA approval last November, "Varithena" foam will be available for treating varicose/saphenous veins later this year. It is essentially an improvement on basic ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (chemical ablation) providing better results with fewer side effects than traditional foam produced at the bedside. "Clarivein," a catheter using mechanical abrasion combined with sclerotherapy, became available one to two years ago. Beyond that, cyanoacrylate (surgical glue) and steam ablation are being studied, but will not be generally available for at least several more years.

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