What is Venaseal?
Venous insufficiency is a disease of poorly functioning valves in the legs. This leads to poor circulation which can cause pain, swelling, restlessness, and cramping in the legs. Venaseal is a minimally invasive method of treating this disease.
What is the purpose of a VenaSeal?
The VenaSeal™ closure system uses a proprietary medical adhesive delivered endovenously to close the vein. This unique approach eliminates the risk of nerve injury when treating the small saphenous vein, which is a risk sometimes associated with certain thermal-based procedures. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the procedure is safe and effective. The procedure is administered without the use of tumescent anesthesia, avoiding patient discomfort associated with multiple needle sticks.
How is the procedure performed?
You will be placed on the procedure table. The area over the vein site is sterilized with either iodine or chlorhexidine. A site above the vein is numbed with a local anesthetic and the venaseal catheter (thin tube) is placed into the vein. This is performed with an ultrasound. The adhesive is then delivered in increments through the vein.
Will the procedure be painful?
The injection of the local anesthetic may burn for less than one minute. The remainder of the procedure is painless. If you decide to have IV sedation, you must have a driver to get you home safely afterward. In addition, you cannot have anything to eat or drink within 8 hours of your appointment. If you take medications for diabetes, these medications may need to be adjusted the morning of the procedure. Your primary care physician can help you with this adjustment.
What are the discharge instructions?
Once you’ve returned home after an outpatient procedure, your doctor will likely recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day as the anesthetic wears off. Your leg may experience a mild stinging or burning sensation, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. After surgery, the dressings must remain on for 24 to 48 hours, and you should expect minimal bleeding. You can shower (as long as the water is not too hot), but do not take baths or swim in public pools until the surgical wound has completely healed.
After the procedure, wear your compression stockings for at least three days, taking them off only for showering and sleeping. Compression stockings promote proper blood flow, and the more you wear them, the better you will feel.
While recuperating, you should take care to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you notice that you’re bleeding through the bandages, elevate your leg and apply pressure to the wound. If those treatments fail to stop the bleeding, or if the bleeding continues for two days, consult your physician immediately.
What are the risks and side effects?
Phlebitis, a condition characterized by lumps and inflammation in the leg, sometimes occurs after surgery. It usually clears up within a month. This can require ice pack treatments or anti-inflammatory medication.
About one in 15 patients see a recurrence of varicose veins within 10 years following surgery. To avoid the reappearance of varicose veins, you should be sure to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and wear light support socks.
Though rare, Deep Vein Thrombosis may occur after treatment, and this dangerous condition can lead to life-threatening blood clots. If you experience excessive swelling or pain in the leg, again, contact your physician immediately. He or she will recommend further treatment if necessary.
Can I exercise?
Strenuous exercise and any heavy lifting are not recommended for at least two weeks following your procedure, but that doesn’t mean you should be inactive. A regular walking routine improves your overall circulation and helps to prevent clots. You needn’t go far — a few hundred yards three times a day should do the trick. As the stiffness gradually decreases, you can ramp up your strolls.
You may also want to know when you can drive your car. Since your reaction times may be slowed due to the anesthesia and any lingering discomfort in your leg, wait at least 24 hours before getting behind the wheel.
How long does it take for the procedure to work?
For most patients, full recovery takes about one to two weeks. That said, if you received treatment for both of your legs, you can expect a longer recuperation period.
We will schedule a follow-up ultrasound with our team after the procedure to determine if the vein has successfully closed.