VenaSeal is an innovative treatment that can get rid of diseased veins by sealing them off. It’s a fast, minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins that we offer at Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, VA.
What Is VenaSeal Made Of?
VenaSeal is a special type of medical-grade super-glue known as cyanoacrylate. While this might sound strange at first, sterile types of super-glue are used in medicine all the time. The super-glue you buy at the store is not the same thing at all and shouldn’t be used for at-home first aid, but the basic idea is the same. A type of super-glue is used in medical contexts all the time. In addition to cosmetic medicine, it’s also used in dental, orthopedic, ophthalmic, and veterinary surgeries regularly with success.
What makes this treatment special are the unique properties of the glue when compared to other medical-grade and surgical glues out there. There are four key things that set this type of adhesive apart from all others:
VenaSeal is a soft, elastic glue that you won’t feel afterward. Unlike other types of glue, it does not harden into lumps.
It Polymerizes Quickly
As soon as this adhesive comes into contact with blood, which it is sure to do in a vein treatment, it quickly polymerizes. In layman’s terms, this simply means that it goes to work to instantly shut the vein without moving around.
This adhesive is especially valuable for its action against gram-positive microorganisms, making it very unlikely a patient could get an infection.
It Has No Long-Term Adverse Effects
Types of cyanoacrylate adhesives have been used for repairing wounds since the 1950s, so there has been ample time to study this adhesive and demonstrate its safety.
How VenaSeal Works
This system for treating varicose veins is simple, painless, fast, does not require stockings, and is FDA-approved for instant closure of diseased veins. Once the veins are closed off, they are slowly absorbed into the body, and the circulatory system simply diverts blood flow to other nearby veins.
Simple and Painless
Older methods of caring for varicose veins often required multiple needles all along the path of the vein just to numb it. This numbing was critical because the veins would be treated with heat and treatment would be very painful without the numbing agent.
This method only requires one small prick per vein, with no requirements for saline injections of anesthesia medications, making it the perfect treatment for nearly anyone, including older people with heart disease or other conditions that disqualify them from other methods of varicose vein treatment.
While other treatments can take weeks to fully close off a treated vein, this adhesive treatment works immediately, meaning you can go back to your daily activities and routine immediately.
No Stockings Required
Until the advent of this treatment, there was no treatment for varicose veins that didn’t require the patient to wear compression stockings afterward: often for six to 18 weeks. This is the only treatment that requires no stockings at all.
This is the world’s only FDA-approved adhesive closure system for treating varicose veins.
What Are Varicose Veins?
There can be some confusion about the difference between varicose veins and spider veins. They are caused by the same underlying issues, both can be unsightly, and in some cases, they can look rather similar.
Typically, varicose veins are larger and more twisted. They also usually appear on the legs, while spider veins tend to appear more on the face. And while spider veins are not generally a health threat and are removed primarily for cosmetic reasons, varicose veins can be minor, or they can pose a health threat that should be treated.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are the result of damaged valves in the veins. Normally, veins only carry blood one way, from the tissues back to the heart, and small, one-way valves keep blood flowing in the correct direction. Freshly oxygenated blood from the heart is then transported to the tissues by arteries.
Because of where our heart is located, the veins, especially in the legs, have a harder job than the arteries. The arteries are working with gravity as they take blood to the tissues away from the heart. Most of the veins are working against it, meaning that if one of the one-way valves fails, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein. When that happens, the veins start to stretch, twist, and even become painful.
How to Know If You Have Varicose Veins
What You’ll See:
- Veins that are blue or purple, usually dark
- Twisting, bulging veins that look like cords
- Skin discolorations
What You’ll Feel:
- Aches or a heavy feeling in the legs
- Itching around the veins
- Pain after extended periods sitting or standing
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling in the lower legs
- Burning or throbbing
It’s possible to feel all, most, or even none of these things with varicose veins. The more of them that are present, the more serious the situation is likely to be.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
One of the strongest risk factors for this condition is having other family members who suffer from it. While we don’t yet know all the reasons behind this, there is likely a genetic component at work.
Standing or Sitting Jobs
Regular movement keeps our veins in good health. Extended sitting or standing keeps the blood from flowing well.
Whether you are obese or pregnant, putting on a lot of weight puts extra pressure on the veins.
Blood Volume Changes
Pregnant women have more blood in their bodies to support the growing baby. Unfortunately, one side effect of greater volume is more strain on veins that can already be tasked by the extra weight of carrying that baby. This makes varicose veins far more likely in pregnant women.
Since varicose veins are due to a failure in the vein valves, it’s natural that the risk should increase with age as all our bodily systems break down or work less efficiently.
Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins, and this seems to be hormonally related. Some of the hormone changes that come with monthly menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy can relax vein walls, allowing blood to flow past the valves.
Should You Have Your Veins Treated?
Home Care Isn’t Working
If home-remedies and care are not working to relieve your symptoms, it’s time to come see us about how to get relief. Sometimes, home remedies can be very effective in treating these vein issues, but at other times, even the most diligent self-care isn’t enough.
The Issue Has Gotten Worse
You should also look for help if your veins seem to have suddenly gotten worse. This is especially true if you’re noticing greater pain and discomfort. While complications are rare, varicose veins can cause:
If a varicose vein is too close to the skin and bursts, it can bleed. This generally isn’t medically serious, but it does demand careful medical attention to ensure a healthy resolution without infection. If you notice a varicose vein running very close to the surface, having it closed off will ensure there’s no bursting.
When veins become too enlarged, the affected leg can begin to swell. If your leg pain is persistent or the swelling won’t go down, this could indicate you have a blood clot. By treating your veins before they reach this point, you can avoid this issue entirely.
Ulcers sometimes form on the skin near varicose veins. This is especially likely to happen at the ankles, and for some people, such as diabetics, this can be a serious concern. Treating the veins can help you avoid this problem.
You’re Unhappy With Your Look
Come see us about dealing with your veins if you’re unhappy with the way your veins look. If you’re embarrassed to wear shorts or go to the beach, you don’t have to live in that situation. Having the veins treated can give you back smooth legs without scarring.
FAQ About This Treatment
What’s the First Step to Getting Treatment?
Your first step should be to schedule a consultation with us. We can go over your medical history, examine your veins, and do an ultrasound imaging of the leg being treated. This ultrasound allows us to carefully plan the treatment.
When Do the Symptoms Get Better?
Unlike with other treatments, this system deals with the problem vein immediately. If you’re experiencing pain, aches, burning, or itching, those will stop as soon as the vein is closed off.
When Can I Go Back to My Normal Schedule?
You can return to your schedule for the most part immediately after treatment. Depending on your unique situation, we may give you other instructions, but you can be sure you won’t spend the same amount of time recovering as you would with other treatment methods.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Nearly anyone who has visible spider or varicose veins and who may have a vein disease is a good candidate. If you have pain, cramping, burning, itching, heaviness, or swelling in your legs, you’re likely a good candidate.
There are only a few things that could possibly keep you from having this treatment. If you’ve had a hypersensitive or allergic reaction to a medical-grade adhesive before, then it would be wise to seek another treatment. You should also talk to us about other options if you have acute superficial thrombophlebitis or sepsis.
Will This Stop My Varicose Veins Forever?
The veins that are treated will remain closed for years, but this treatment can’t stop new varicose veins from forming. Nothing can fully guarantee that you’ll never develop varicose veins again, but you can minimize your chances of getting new ones with a few key lifestyle choices:
Avoid Sitting or Standing Too Long
Even if you have a job that requires you to sit or stand, change position whenever you can and do small exercises like stretching your ankles and bending your knees. Put your feet and legs up whenever you can.
A healthy diet will keep off the extra weight that puts you at greater risk for varicose veins. A good diet will also keep blood pressure under better control and help you avoid putting unnecessary stress on the circulatory system.
Exercises like walking and yoga are fantastic for your veins. They’re not high impact, yet they keep blood flowing and the circulatory system healthy.
Get Treatment for Your Varicose Veins
If you have varicose veins that bother you, for whatever reason, come see us at Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, VA and ask about VenaSeal. We’ll be happy to tell you more and advise you on the best treatment plan to get rid of your varicose vein discomfort.