Professor Austin Leahy has retired. The office of Vein Clinics of Ireland is temporarily closed and will not respond to any contact. Please direct enquiries to Vascular Surgery at the Bon Secours Hospital or Beacon Hospital.
Varicose Veins Treatment
In the past the most common technique for varicose veins treatment was open surgical vein stripping. Today, there are multiple solutions available many of which are minimally invasive. Painful, open surgical stripping is no longer necessary.
Patients attending the Vein Clinics of Ireland have a clinical and ultrasound examination prior to treatment planning. Insured patients may have the ultrasound investigation at no additional charge if their insurance company covers the cost of the test (Code 5940), however insurance plans may vary. At the preliminary evaluation all patients will be informed about the most effective treatment, have all their questions answered, and have a management plan developed.
Varicose Veins Treatment Options include
ClosureFast Procedure (Venefit)
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Sclerotherapy – either by injection or laser
VenaSeal Closure System (Sapheon)
ClosureFast Procedure (Venefit)
The ClosureFast procedure (Venefit or VNUS Closure formerly) gives results which are identical to the more commonly used surgical process of vein stripping; however it avoids cutting, stripping, sewing and general anaesthesia. It combats this persistent venous disorder with the latest technological advances.
Outpatient admission or walk-in walk-out (meaning ‘ambulatory care’ in which extensive post-surgery hospital stays are unnecessary) is the norm for the Closure procedure. Under ultrasound guidance, the surgeon places a Closure catheter into the incompetent vein by means of a small incision. A radiofrequency energy emits from this slim instrument, which works to heat the vein walls, after which the catheter can be extracted. The collagen in the venous tissue will contract and the vein will close. These incompetent veins can be quite safely obliterated as other healthy veins are present through which the blood can flow.
After the procedure a bandage is applied, and subsequently an elastic stocking. The wound is small, and there are no sutures or stitches to be removed. In most cases, patients who undergo the closure procedure may fully resume the activity of their daily lives within 24 hours of receiving treatment and resume driving at 48 hours, when they can make an emergency stop.
Click opposite to view a short video about the ClosureFast procedure
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) involves passing a small laser fibre up through an incompetent major vein to obliterate it using heat energy. It is the original and most validated endovenous treatment having been introduced in 1991. It is suitable for ambulatory patients, and obliterates incompetent veins permanently, by collagen coagulation. Again patients have a bandage applied after the procedure, much like the Venefit treatment. Patients are advised to subsequently wear elastic stockings during the day.
Highlights of the Closure and EVLT procedures
- Less adverse effects than open surgery
- Ability to return to regular pursuits within 24 hours time
- Walk-in, walk-out or outpatient procedure
- Can be done under Local Anaesthesia
- Positive cosmetic results: negligible scars, bruises, or burns – no stitches
The ambulatory phlebectomy procedure involves removal of superficial or surface veins. The incisions made during this process are tiny, meaning that they neither require stitches nor lead to cosmetic problems like noticeable scarring. This procedure is conducted while using local anaesthesia, meaning there will be no painful sensation during the treatment, and the pain experienced after treatment will likewise be negligible or very tolerable. Post-extraction treatment will involve the use of elastic compression stockings and bandaging for a brief while. This procedure is often combined with Venefit (VNUS) closure or Endovenous Laser therapy.
Sclerotherapy, involving the injection of a solution (that is a sclerosant) with a miniscule needle, is a treatment designed to alleviate or eliminate cosmetically undesirable spider veins and varicose veins. The sclerosing solution serves to aggravate the veins’ inner wall until this lining expands and hardens. Eventually, the treated area will be absorbed into the surrounding bodily tissue. A slight amount of irritation may be felt during the procedure, along with a feeling of pressure for minutes upon the injection of the more prominent veins. The number of veins to be injected will vary, and will be contingent upon the severity of each patient’s condition, also taking into account factors such as the positioning and size of the veins. There is also no standardised number of therapy sessions, with multiple sessions (up to three) being required for a given venous area. Elastic stockings (which exert a pressure of 30 to 40mmHg) will be worn afterwards, to reduce the risk of bruising.
Venaseal Closure System (Sapheon)
VenaSeal Sapheon Closure System is a minimally invasive treatment which uses a medical glue or adhesive to eliminate varicose veins and venous reflux. This system is passed under ultrasound guidance, and a tiny catheter is placed in the diseased vein. The VenaSeal dispenser then delivers a very small amount of medical glue or adhesive which permanently closes the diseased vein. With the affected vein closed, blood re-routes through other healthy veins in the leg.
Uniquely, in contrast with most other treatments, VenaSeal does not require tumescent anaesthesia (i.e. local anaesthetic injected into the leg via multiple needle sticks), and patients can return to normal activities right after the treatment. Unlike thermally-based procedures, with VenaSeal there is no risk of skin burns, and nerve damage is very unlikely. VenaSeal usually does not require any post-treatment pain medication or uncomfortable compression/elastic stockings. This is a new procedure, and consequently, in Ireland, the Venaseal™ system is not currently covered by any private medical insurance. It can only be offered to those patients who are paying for their treatment. If you wish to undergo Venaseal™ treatment, please come for a consultation and venous duplex ultrasound assessment.
More about Venaseal http://www.venaseal.com/how-venaseal