News 5 - September 26, 2003
Varicose veins are unsightly and can be very painful. A common solution to the problem, vein stripping, is effective but it's painful and can cause a significant amount of bruising and bleeding.
Now, for about 1/3 of patients with varicose veins there's a less invasive and much less painful solution. The procedure is called VNUS Closure.
Margaret Reid admits she hasn't been kind to her legs. This now retired business woman spent years on her feet. Margaret says, "I was in airports a lot and I did a lot of things that were not good for my legs. But I didn't really realize because it was just an ache. Then it became more of a throb."
That pain was the result of varicose veins. Margaret says, "Because of the pain and the discomfort and the incredibly disfiguring knot in my leg, I decided to do something about it."
Vascular surgeon Dr. Glenn Esses is Margaret's doctor. He suggested she have a new procedure to treat her problem called VNUS Closure. Using ultrasound technology, Dr. Esses is able to locate the problem and then treat it.
Dr. Esses says, "I place a needle in the vein and after that a series of catheters and wire. And the catheter then goes up the vein to the groin actually using heat energy from the radio frequency catheter to burn the inside of the vein and essentially closes the vein."
The vein does not have to be stripped out of the leg. It's much easier on the patient, but it's not for everyone. VNUS Closure is specifically for patients who have varicose veins with severe venous reflux. Dr. Esses explains. "Reflux is where the blood instead of traveling from the lower leg up, it actually travels the wrong way. It goes down."
Patients who are treated with VNUS Closure return to work more than a week sooner than those treated with vein stripping.
As for Margaret, within just a couple of days she was returning to a life she hadn't seen in years. "I could still tell I'd had a procedure, but I could do everything within 48 hours. Things I had not done comfortably, I could do within 48 hours."
For more information on the VNUS Closure procedure, click here