From a recent press release by the Washington University School of Medicine:
Jeffrey Petersen, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine wanted to help Kurowski improve her quality of life and suggested that she undergo the VNUS Closure procedure to treat her varicose veins.
The innovative procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for superficial venous reflux.
Normally, Peterson says, veins carry blood from the extremities toward the heart. With varicose veins, the blood flows backward, pooling impure and acidic blood in the legs.
The Closure procedure uses radiofrequency or laser heat placed directly into the wall of the saphenous vein, which runs from the ankle to the groin. Over time, faulty valves in the saphenous vein can result in unattractive, bulging and painful varicose veins. The radiofrequency or heat causes the vein wall to collapse, cutting off the source of blood.
During the procedure, a mixture of intravenous saline solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels) helps reduce blood loss and postoperative bruising while providing anesthesia.
First, Petersen inserts a thin catheter into the damaged vein through a small incision. Using an ultrasonic guide, the catheter is manipulated up the vein, and radiofrequency energy is delivered to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse and seal shut.
Once the diseased vein is closed, healthy veins take over, and normal blood flow returns to the leg, allowing the swelling, pain and discoloration to improve noticeably.
Last year, a study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery compared vein stripping to the VNUS Closure procedure by evaluating procedure-related complications, overall patient recuperation and quality-of-life issues. In every measurable category, patients who underwent the closure procedure had better outcomes.
More info is available at VNUS Medical Technologies…