Varicose veins are not just the curse of the old. Many men and women suffer from them and they are a symptom of standing for long periods of time and bad circulation. Varicose veins affect up to 30% of all adults and occur when the blood in the veins flow up the wrong way, causing the vein to swell and legs to become uncomfortable and painful. Conventional methods of removal would involve a technique called stripping; a painful operation performed under a general anaesthetic which includes making an incision at the top of the leg and pulling the vein out.
Weeks of recuperation are needed, with possible infection at the original site of incision and an average of 30% of patients will have a reoccurrence of symptoms five years down the line. Now however, there is a new technique pioneered by ClariVein which is available for the first time on the NHS. This procedure does not require a general anaesthetic instead using a local one so no hospital stay is required.
The ClariVein method involves inserting a rotating needle into the vein into which a drug is introduced which effectively closes and seals the vein. The surgeon simply makes a small incision either above or below the vein, inserts the tiny spinning catheter causing the vein to collapse into itself. The drug called Fibro-Vein is then injected as the catheter is withdrawn and this seals the entrance to the vein. The patient will only feel a slight buzzing feeling and no pain. There is significantly less discomfort during this procedure than other minimally invasive techniques and the technique requires considerably less volume of local anaesthetic to be used.
ClariVein avoids the use of thermal energy to seal the vein so there is less chance of injury to sensory nerves next to the tip of the vein. The operation takes on average 20 minutes compared to the two hour ‘high tie and strip’ old method. ClariVein can also treat the varicose veins which cause spider veins, thread veins or broken veins and the restless leg syndrome. ClariVein treatment for varicose veins is however a new treatment and so the long term data is not yet available. Although this is a relatively new operation, initial results have proved to be effective and after a one year follow up, latest data results show no reoccurrence of the original problem.
Initial reports suggest less post-operative discomfort over the treated vein and results suggest 96% successful vein closure at one year. The one year data shows that ClariVein is at least as good as both laser and radio frequency in the same kind of veins. All indications suggest therefore that ClariVein will provide a safe, effective and lasting technique for the treatment of varicose veins.
Clarivein Occlusion Catheter from Dennis Rosenberg on Vimeo.