Frequently Asked Questions (Faq)
The Venefit™ procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to effectively treat patients suffering from varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). A vein specialist inserts the ClosureFast™ catheter into the diseased vein to provide consistent and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to shrink and seal closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood will re-route itself to other healthy veins.
The Venefit™ procedure is just a new name for the VNUS Closure procedure, providing the same clinically proven results with the same great patient recovery profile.
During vein stripping, incisions are made in the groin and calf, and a tool is threaded through the diseased vein to pull the vein out of the leg. With the Venefit™ procedure, only one small incision is made at the insertion site and the vein is then treated and left in place. This minimally invasive approach reduces the likelihood of pain and bruising.1,2
Although the Venefit™ procedure and endovenous laser ablation are both minimally invasive procedures, a comparative, multi-center study showed that the Venefit™ procedure was associated with statistically significant lower rates of pain, bruising and complications. Patients undergoing the Venefit™ procedure also reported improvements in quality of life measures up to four times faster than patients treated with endovenous laser ablation (the study was conducted with a 980nm laser). 3
The Venefit™ procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes, although patients may normally spend 2-3 hours at the medical facility due to normal pre- and post-treatment procedures.
Most patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the Venefit™ procedure.3 Your physician should give you a local or regional anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
The Venefit™ procedure is usually performed under local or regional anesthesia. It is generally performed in a vein specialist’s office or an outpatient surgical facility.
For a few weeks following the treatment, your physician may recommend a regular walking regimen and suggest you refrain from very strenuous activities (heavy lifting, for example) or prolonged periods of standing.
Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 1-2 weeks following the procedure.3
Patients report limited to no scarring, bruising or swelling following the Venefit™ procedure using the ClosureFast™ catheter.3
As with all medical procedures, potential risks and complications exist including vessel perforation (when the catheter punctures the vein wall), thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot travels to the lungs), phlebitis (inflammation of the vein), infection, nerve damage, arteriovenous fistula (an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein), hematoma (bruising), and skin burn. As with all medical procedures, consult your physician to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Only a vein specialist can tell you if the Venefit™ procedure is the right option for your vein problem. Experience has shown that many patients with varicose veins or CVI can be treated with the Venefit™ procedure.
The most important step in determining whether or not the Venefit™ procedure is appropriate for you is a complete ultrasound examination by your vein specialist. Age alone is not a factor in determining whether or not the Venefit™ procedure is appropriate for you. The Venefit™ procedure has been used to treat both women and men across a wide range of ages.
The Venefit™ procedure has been shown in a large international, multi-center study to be 93% effective over three years.5
Many insurance companies pay for the Venefit™ procedure in part or in full. The Venefit™ procedure has coverage policies with major health insurers. Please discuss your coverage with your insurance provider prior to seeking treatment.
This is a highly specialized technique that uses ultrasound guidance to inject a foamy sclerosant agent into a refluxing vein. Diseased veins that may benefit from foam sclerotherapy generally are larger, are not easily visible on the surface, or have resisted regular sclerotherapy.
Wheal. A wheal is a group of hives that have swollen together around the area that was injected. A hive may occur soon after the injection, but it usually resolves within a few hours. Bruising. Occasionally, blood escapes from the blood vessels and forms a red or brown bruise. This usually goes away within a few weeks.
Discomfort. Some people experience a burning or stinging sensation during injection. Others experience a cramping in the leg that occurs 30-60 seconds after the injections and lasts about a minute.
Swelling and aching. Some individuals, especially those who have had many veins treated, will experience some leg swelling. This can be accompanied by a vague aching sensation of the legs. Tylenol and elevation of the legs are often sufficient to alleviate this discomfort.
Blisters. This may result from tape or adhesive applied to secure the dressing. They will heal after several weeks and may lead to temporary discoloration.
Delayed side effects can develop weeks to months after treatment and may persist for a prolonged period of time. Some possible delayed side effects are:
Brown discoloration. Approximately 5-10% of patients will experience brown lines or spots on the skin in the treatment sites. These have the appearance of a faint bruise, but last much longer. Most of these discolorations will go away within one year.
Peak blush spots. Occasionally, in place of the telangiectasias, many fine blood vessels form a small pink patch called telangiectatic matting.This matting often resolves on its own but may take many months to do so. This reaction occurs in 1-5% of patients. Most patients feel that the matting is less noticeable than the treated spider veins. Occasionally persistent blush spots can be treated with additional sclerotherapy.
Nodules. Sometimes a scar will form under the skin which feels like a bump. This is a rare side effect and often softens with time.
Ulcers. A rare side effect is the formation of a small, painful, slow healing sore at the site of injection. The occurrence of a small ulcer is unpredictable and the cause is uncertain. If an ulcer develops, notify the physician to help you begin specialized wound care.
Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions are rare. Allergic reactions can be treated if they occur and should be reported to your physician.
Inflammation of the blood vessel [phlebitis] is very uncommon. When it occurs it can be treated with bed rest, aspirin and compression. In rare cases antibiotics are necessary.
Clotting. Sometimes a clot develops at the injection site. These small blood clots do not tend to cause problems. However, removal of the clot within 2 weeks of the injection will speed up the healing process.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat “spider veins.” During sclerotherapy, the physician injects a solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a well-proven procedure.
Sclerotherapy is performed in a doctor’s office. The treatment area is cleansed. The solution is injected directly into the blood vessel, using very fine needles. The number of veins injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient ‘s overall medical condition.
Sclerotherapy works well for most patients. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent to 80 percent of injected veins may be eliminated with each injection session. A few (less than 10 percent) of the people who have sclerotherapy do not respond to the injections at all. In these instances, different solutions or a different method, such as laser therapy, may be tried. In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks.
Before the procedure, you will have an initial consultation with vascular specialist, Karan Bhalla, M.D., who will evaluate your eligibility for sclerotherapy. You are not eligible for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are bedridden. You must wait at least three months after giving birth before you can be considered for this procedure. You can have sclerotherapy if you take birth control pills. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, and will depend on the extremity and the cause of the clot.
Insurance companies do not provide coverage for sclerotherapy when it is performed for cosmetic reasons. Some insurance companies cover sclerotherapy for specific medical conditions. Your insurance company may request a letter from your physician concerning the nature of your treatment. Please contact your insurance provider to verify coverage before you consider the procedure.
Tetracycline or Minocin, both antibiotics, may possibly cause a staining of the skin if taken 7 to 10 days before or after sclerotherapy. Ask your doctor about other antibiotic medications you may take, or ask for safe guidelines for discontinuing these medications. If you are required to take an antibiotic before any invasive procedure, such as dental procedures, colonoscopy or surgery, please inform your physician.
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen (i.e. Advil and Alieve) or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48 hours before and after sclerotherapy, because these medications may interfere with the action of the sclerosing agent or increase bleeding. Tylenol is permitted. Ask your doctor for specific guidelines before discontinuing any medication.
Prednisone decreases the effectiveness of the sclerosing agent. Ask the doctor who prescribed your prednisone if it can be safely discontinued for 48 hours before the sclerotherapy procedure.
No lotion should be applied to the legs before or after sclerotherapy.
We recommend that you bring a pair of shorts to wear during the procedure.
Mild discomfort may occur when the veins are injected, and a cramping sensation may be felt for 1 to 2 minutes when larger veins are injected.
The sclerotherapy procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
After the treatment you will be able to drive yourself home. You may resume your regular activities and are encouraged to walk.
You will be instructed to wear support hosiery or compression wraps to “compress”the treated vessels. Support items can be purchased from The Vein Center at Orion Medical.
For 48 hours after the procedure, please follow these guidelines:
Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications. Tylenol may be used if needed for pain relief.
Do not take hot baths or sit in a whirlpool or sauna. You may take showers, but the water should be cooler than usual.
Wash the injection sites with a mild soap and lukewarm water.
Do not apply hot compresses or any form of heat to the injected areas.
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight (including sun tanning and tanning beds).