VNUS closure is a minimally invasive treatment that uses heat to close varicose veins. The procedure requires only one tiny incision, so there is a low risk of scarring or infection. The entire procedure takes less than one hour and involves a two to three hour hospital stay.
VNUS is the name of the company that developed the procedure.
Varicose veins are swollen, visible leg veins, usually caused by faulty valves in the veins. Veins carry blood from your body’s tissues to the heart. A series of valves lets blood flow in one direction but does not let it return. If those valves are not functioning properly, blood can back up, or "reflux," overfilling the veins. This causes the veins to swell and stretch. Varicose veins cause physical discomfort, and they are often considered unattractive.
VNUS treatment uses radiofrequency ablation to heat the vein walls, causing them to collapse and scar. The scars eventually are reabsorbed into the body. This treatment is less painful, and requires less recovery time, then traditional vein stripping techniques, which involve removing the entire vein from the leg. It also appears to be more effective than sclerotherapy, a treatment that involves injecting a chemical solution into the vein.
Local or regional anesthesia is used to numb the leg, so you will be completely awake. A small incision is made in the leg, and a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the vein. An ultrasound is used to guide the catheter toward the junction between the saphenous and femoral veins (the saphenofemoral junction). The catheter is attached to a radiofrequency generator that delivers heat to the vein walls. The venous walls are heated to 85 degrees Celsius. The catheter is then withdrawn, and the vein collapses and seals shut behind it. Healthy veins will take over the work that this vein was unable to do.
Your leg will be bandaged and it may be wrapped. You may be asked to walk, wear compression stockings, avoid lifting heavy objects and avoid long periods of standing still for several weeks after the procedure. But other than that, you should be able to resume normal activities. Most people notice improvement in their symptoms in one to two weeks.
Last updated: 05-Nov-03