What is Glue Treatment For Veins?
Glue treatment for varicose veins is one of the newest and most innovative, minimally invasive vein treatment options to avoid vein stripping or vein surgery. When we say “glue”, we are talking about medical glue based on the adhesive “cyanoacrylate”, that has been used for brain surgery and wound closure for over 50 years.
Since inception in 2014 The Vein Clinic Perth has been at the forefront of the use of minimally invasive means of vein treatment in Australia. We have performed over 200 VenaSeal saphenous vein closures and numerous perforator closures and find it an excellent adjunct technique in selected cases.Read More
How Glue Treatment Works
Cyanoacrylate glue is used to permanently seal diseased veins by passing a catheter up the vein, introduced through a small puncture site. The procedure is virtually painless and ideal for needle-phobic patients.
Visible varicose veins are usually treated with ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGFS) some 2-4 weeks later when they have decreased in size.
There is minimal discomfort as there is no need for injection of anaesthetic agents around the vein. There is also no need for compression stockings after the procedure, so there is greatly improved post-treatment comfort for the patient.
Before & Afters
These before/after images demonstrate a case study of glue treatment for veins. A 59-year-old patient presented with large varicose veins after 20 years of discomfort and heavy legs toward the end of the day, as well as symptoms of itchy legs. As a cabinet maker, he wanted a tailored “walk-in walk-out” treatment approach that would allow him to go back to work ASAP with minimal downtime. The first stage of treatment involved VenaSeal glue treatment to the malfunctioning saphenous veins. The second stage included sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided phlebectomy removal of branch vessels. This patient received the best of both non-surgical and surgical methods, reducing the need for follow-up treatments. A follow-up is scheduled after 3 months to ensure that these excellent results are maintained.
A fine catheter is inserted into the vein under ultrasound guidance.
Glue is then deposited into the vein in small increments.
Compression is immediately placed on the vein to allow the vein walls to seal together.
Over time fibrous tissue forms around the glue causing a permanent seal.
Stages of Vein Treatment
Treatment of large malfunctioning veins (trunk)
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLA) to great, small, and/or anterior accessory saphenous veins. 60 minutes
Treatment of large varicose veins (branches)
Phlebectomy removal of larger bulging varicose veins 90-120 minutescombined with
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS) on smaller veins. 30 minutes
Treatment of small varicose veins (branches) if required
Extra sessions of UGFS to close smaller veins if identified as required at post-treatment follow-up scan 30 minutes
You may not require this stage.
Optional treatment surface veins (leaves)
Usually done by Microsclerotherapy 30 minutes
Most patients require multiple treatment sessions to remove spider veins.
Follow up and maintenance to ensure best results
What to Expect
The sonographer will mark the veins to be treated. The procedure is performed with the patient lying on a treatment couch that is tilted at stages through the treatment. The vein is punctured through an anaesthetized site at about the knee for great saphenous reflux and back of calf for small saphenous reflux. A fine wire is passed up the vein, a long fine tube is passed over the wire and the VenaSeal or VenaBlock catheter is introduced through the tube.
The catheter tip is precisely positioned just below the top end of the saphenous vein using ultrasound guidance. Injection of the chemical is commenced with firm pressure applied above the site. This is repeated in multiple segments down the full length of the vein. The procedure involves minimal discomfort. No compression is required after treatment.
You will return for a follow-up ultrasound scan 1-2 weeks following treatment, to ensure that the treated vein is occluded and to exclude the very small risk of deep vein thrombosis. Some patients may require follow-up treatment of residual varicosities by Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS). This procedure is often performed 2-4 weeks after initial treatment.
Why Choose Treatment With Medical Superglue?
Cyanoacrylate adhesive has been safely used for more than 50 years in other parts of the body clinical applications including wound closure, brain aneurysm, and AVM closure etc. The safety profile is excellent when used by properly trained and skilled radiologists such as Dr Matar. Special formulation for use in veins has perfected the properties so the medical superglue stays exactly where it is placed in the abnormal vein without entering the general blood circulation.Read More
Why Choose The Vein Clinic Perth?
You need not travel to Melbourne as glue treatment for veins is now available at The Vein Clinic. We were the first clinic in Western Australia to offer this new and exciting innovation in non-surgical vein treatment.
You may be a candidate if you haven’t had sclerotherapy or surgery in the targeted vein, if an in-house ultrasound at The Vein Clinic has identified a suitable “target vein” for the glue treatment, and if you have demonstrated a clear understanding of this and other options.
There are many advantages in terms of patient comfort and recovery as well as some disadvantages (outlined below).
Advantages of Glue
- Fastest method of vein closure
- Less pain/bruising than laser/surgery
- No tumescent anaesthesia
- Instant vein closure
- Rapid return to normal activities
- Similar short term results to laser
Disadvantages of Glue
- Long term follow up lacking
- Most expensive treatment method
- Not suitable for all veins
- Additional treatment to branch vessels may be required.
- High rate of phlebitis (20%), usually easily managed with stockings and anti-inflammatories.
Do I Need Treatment for Varicose Veins?
You could benefit from treatment for varicose veins if you experience any of the following vein problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have varicose veins?
Most varicose vein issues are hereditary. If you have one parent with varicose veins your risk of having them is around 65%. If both parents are affected the risk rises to approximately 90%. Another main risk factor for women is pregnancy, with the risk increasing with each additional pregnancy. Standing occupations such as hairdressers, nurses, and chefs also have a high risk of varicose veins as gravity puts pressure on the veins and weakens them.
How do I prevent varicose veins?
Once varicose veins are present, they will not resolve of their own accord. Measures to reduce the rate of progression include maintaining a normal healthy weight and going for regular walks of 20-30 minutes per day. Reducing the length of time spent on the feet in a stationary position may help and alternating between standing and sitting positions during the day will also reduce the pressure on the veins.
What will happen if I don’t treat these veins?
Generally, without treatment, varicose veins will get progressively worse over time. Symptoms may occur such as heaviness, ache, pain, and tiredness in the legs towards the end of the day. Further progression may result in leg swelling, itch, skin discolouration, and eventual skin ulceration. Blood clots related to superficial venous thrombosis may also occur in severe cases and can lead to the more serious condition of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
What treatment options exist?
Outdated, old-fashioned options such as surgical stripping are rapidly becoming obsolete due to poor long-term success, with recurrence rates of up to 50%. Modern treatment options include endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy injections, and ultrasound-guided ambulatory phlebectomy. In many cases a combination of different treatments will give the best long-term results.
Will the veins come back after treatment?
Many people are concerned that the treatment will be of limited value because the veins will just come back. This was certainly the case in the days of surgical stripping with a 50% recurrence rate at 5 years; however, using the latest minimally invasive techniques, we can reduce the risk of recurrent varicose veins to the baseline risk of approximately 3% per year.
What is the downtime following treatment?
This depends on the type of procedure performed and the severity of the veins being treated. Modern treatment with laser can involve no time off work and approximately two weeks off heavy gym work and four weeks off international travel.