BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The latest treatment for unsightly and painful varicose veins is a super glue of sorts, and it is now available in Baton Rouge. The VenaSeal system closes off the veins by injecting them with a powerful adhesive.
"A lot of people may be familiar with having gone to the ER and having a laceration closed with glue," Dr. P. Michael Davis said. "It's the same stuff. It's formulated a little differently, but it's been around a long time."
Existing methods to shut off varicose veins use heat, either from a laser or radio frequency. That usually means slightly more discomfort and more requirements after the procedure.
"With this technique we don't really have to apply compression, so patients are basically able to get up and walk out without a compression garment, which the other procedures we do have people in garments for about two weeks post-op," Davis said.
The entire procedure is done through one small needle prick. Davis watched via ultrasound as a catheter was snaked through the varicose vein being treated. The glue is loaded into a gun and then injected one d rop at a time every three centimeters through the entire vein. Pressure is applied throughout the process to seal the vein shut.
There's one other advantage to this technique over existing ones.
"It's very easy and convenient to do this procedure on both legs at one time," Davis explained. "Using the other techniques it's not as easy and sometimes not advisable (to do both legs)."
Because it is new, VenaSeal is not yet covered by most insurance companies. The patient that was observed wanted the procedure for cosmetic reasons and spent about $4,000 out of pocket.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes per leg and is done entirely in the doctor's office. Patients are able to drive themselves home afterwards.