VenaSeal Procedure

Surf Pacific Google + - Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is VenaSeal better than surgery?

Channel 9 recently did a story on VenaSeal, one of the newest non-surgical procedures to be approved in Australia to treat varicose veins.

The exciting new procedure offers an alternative to the traditional methods of treatment (laser, radio waves or surgery). The procedure administers the adhesive via a small access site in the leg. It is guided by ultrasound to the diseased vein where the VenaSeal adhesive (similar to superglue) is released incrementally and pressure is applied by the practitioner down the vein closing the area.

As Dr Paul Varcoe points out, “The best things about VenaSeal treatment is that there is no requirement for general anesthetic and only minor requirement for local anesthetic.” Comparing this to surgery which requires general anaesthetic and laser treatment which requires larger amounts of local anaesthetic the VenaSeal procedure wins out.

After VenaSeal treatment you are not required to wear a stocking (unlike most laser treatments) and you have even less discomfort than with laser treatment (which is minimal for most patients anyway). 
No stockings and negligible discomfort sounds like a pretty great deal but there are some downsides. 
Firstly, with current pricing Venaseal is more expensive than laser and there are currently no Medicare rebates for this sort of treatment being offered.
Secondly, it has not been used on the different sorts of veins that laser treatment is commonly used for. 
Thirdly, it can only be used to treat the main vein “trunk” (like laser) but the associated varicose veins also invariably have to be treated (usually by injections) so the ‘no stocking’ benefit is only for the initial part of the treatment. 

It’s also currently available in New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Canada, Europe, the UAE and Hong Kong, in addition to its launch in America and still growing in popularity. 
Dr Paul Varcoe concludes that “Venaseal looks promising but the cost needs to fall and the use on all types of veins needs to be established for it to be a better alternative than laser treatment for most patients.”

All in all it is definitely a breakthrough in the industry but accessibility and price are a major downside to the procedure when there are more affordable options out there. Though its popularity is growing these issues will need to be addressed more closely before it can be given the title of the be all end all of procedures when it comes varicose vein issues.

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