Robert R Artwohl, MD, PC • 3300 Providence Drive, Suite 309 • Anchorage AK 9950 • Phone: 907-222-6240 • Fax: 907-222-6870
Robert R Artwohl, MD, PC
3300 Providence Drive - Suite 309
Anchorage AK 99508
Call Us: 907-222-6240
The Venaseal™ is a new way of closing the main vein in the leg that causes varicose veins that is approved by the FDA for use in the United States. It is now covered by Medicare. It is the same principle as the ClosureFast system or the Laser system, except that instead of using heat energy to seal the vein, it uses a glue.
The latest 2-year study has shown that Venaseal is just as effective ClosureFast in treating varicose vein disease.
There are several advantages of the Venaseal system, which include:
1. only one small injection of local anesthetic is needed. (With the ClosureFast and laser procedures, multiple injections are needed.)
2. patients do not need to wear support stockings afterwards.
However there are also potential disadvantages to the Venaseal system:
1. there is not as much long-term experience using this system. It has only been available for commercial use in the U.S. for about three years. However all studies indicate it is as effective as Closurefast (RF ablation).
2. at present, the system is only covered Medicare, and not private medical insurance or Medicaid. Therefore, for non-Medicare patients, this is a self-pay procedure.
3. The glue used in the system, n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate, is a commonly used medical adhesive that is used in various other applications and is considered safe. It is often used to seal off other abnormal vessels, like arteriovenous malformations and esophageal varices. It is also the glue that is used in some skin glues to seal wounds closed. However, the glue will remain in your body permanently and patients who have Venaseal should consider themselves as having a permanent implant. In rare cases, allergic reactions to the glue can occur.
If you think you may be interested in the Venaseal system, Dr. Artwohl will happy to discuss this procedure with you.
Here are the differences between Venaseal and ClosureFast:
- • Covered by Medicare, but not private insurance or Medicaid.1
- • Only one small injection of local anesthetic.2
- • Stockings not needed after procedure.3
- • No immediate restrictions on activities.
- • Glue left permanently in vein to keep vein sealed.4
- • Little to no discomfort after procedure.
- • Covered by insurance.1
- • Several needle sticks to deliver anesthetic solution.2
- • Stockings required for two weeks after procedure.3
- • Light activity two weeks after procedure.
- • No materials left in vein, vein is sealed by heat and scars down.4
- • Little to no discomfort after procedure.5
- 1Venaseal is approved by the FDA. It has been recently been given a CPT Code. At this time, however, only Medicare provides benefit. Private insurance companies and Medicaid do provide benefit, although this will probably change in the next few years.
- 2Because only a small amount of anesthesia is used, there are less needle sticks and up to two veins can be performed at one setting. The ClosureFast uses much more lidocaine, so we are usually limited to one vein per session.
- 3Although stockings are not required after Venaseal, Dr. Artwohl usually recommends they be worn, especially for those patients with large varicose veins.
- 4Some people don’t like the idea of a “glue” being injected directly into their veins. The glue used in the system, n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate, is a commonly used medical adhesive that is used in various other applications and is considered safe. It is often used to seal off other abnormal vessels, like arteriovenous malformations and esophageal varices. It is also the glue that is used in some skin glues to seal wounds closed. However, the glue will remain in your body permanently and patients who have Venaseal should consider themselves as having a permanent implant.
- 5One theoretical advantage to Venaseal is that injections of tumescent anesthesia are not required so the discomfort of multiple needle sticks is avoided. It would seem then, the Venaseal would be much more comfortable procedure as perceived by patients.
- However, a study that compared 108 Venaseal patients to 114 ClosureFast (Venefit) patients showed that pain scores were almost identical in the two groups between the Venaseal and ClosureFast (Venefit) patients.
Alaska Vein Clinic • 3300 Providence Drive, Suite 309 • Anchorage AK • 99508
Tel 907-222-6240 • Fax: 907-222-6870
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