NORTH OAKS, Minn. - There's a new product by Minnesota company
that could change the way doctors treat some patients with varicose veins.
It's called Venaseal and it uses an adhesive to close the veins.
Varicose veins are not veins that carry blood to and from the heart but rather superficial veins near the surface of the skin. Valves in the veins fail and allow blood to flow backward and pool, causing swelling and bulging.
John Kaasa has been treated for varicose veins before.
He had laser therapy on his left leg about eight years ago. He said, "I've kind of had chronic vein issues my whole life because it's hereditary."
Then recently, he decided he needed to do something about the varicose veins in his right leg.
Pointing to the back of his calf he said, "Right here, it swelled up. It would swell up on the bottom of my ankle here." He said his leg felt heavy and there would often be redness.
But now, "Now it's pretty much normal."
He had the brand new Venaseal procedure, approved by the FDA this year, in November.
Dr. Primepares Pal of the Minnesota Vein Center said, "This is really kind of the next generation.",
Pal said he is excited to be able to offer it to his patients.
Venaseal uses an adhesive to treat superficial varicose veins. A catheter is inserted through a tiny incision on the leg. Then a dispenser gun delivers adhesive into the vein and pressure is applied.
Said Pal, "What it does is seals the vein and prevents that backflow that results in varicose veins."
He continued, "It can be done quickly. Its done in 20 to 30 minutes and you really only use a very small amount of this adhesive, only about a cc which is a 1/5 of a teaspoon."
Plus Dr. Pal said only a tiny amount of local anesthesia is needed.
Kaasa found Venaseal was not only quicker than laser therapy for him, he said there was no pulling or stretching sensation in his leg afterward either.
"There was no recovery time at all. I walked out of here with a Bandaid on my leg. I didn't have to wear compression socks or anything so it was great. It was unbelievable."
The Venaseal system is so new, it is not yet covered by insurance. According to Dr. Pal, the treatment costs approximately $3,000. But he said there are studies underway that will hopefully lead to insurance coverage in the near future.