The VNUS Closure procedure is a relatively new method for treating varicose veins. Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that are usually blue or dark purple in color. They may appear tortuous, irregular and bumpy. Any vein in the body can develop into a varicose vein, but they most commonly manifest in the legs and feet. Varicose veins can cause not only medical but also cosmetic problems. The VNUS Closure procedure is the latest method for treating varicose veins. The VNUS Closure procedure has many advantages, such as less pain after surgery and less scarring, but above all it has excellent clinical results.
- Varicose veins
- How do varicose veins arise?
- Varicose veins are common
- Treatment of varicose veins according to the VNUS Closure procedure
- Benefits of the VNUS Closure procedure
- Minimally invasive treatment
- Less postoperative pain
- Excellent clinical results
- Cosmetically attractive
- VNUS Closure procedure: reimbursement
Varicose veins / Source: Zlikovec/Shutterstock.com
veins are swollen and enlarged veins that are usually blue or dark purple in color. They may appear tortuous, irregular and bumpy. Any vein in the body can develop into a varicose vein, but they most commonly manifest in the legs and feet.
How do varicose veins arise?
Varicose veins occur when the small valves in the veins no longer work properly. Veins provide blood drainage from the tissues to the heart. To prevent the blood from flowing back, there is a series of small valves that can open and close. If these valves weaken or are damaged and close poorly, blood can no longer flow properly from the legs to the heart. As a result, this creates congestion and pressure in the veins, which ultimately causes varicose veins. Varicose veins do not necessarily cause any complaints, but for some people they cause pain and fatigue in the legs. Varicose veins can cause not only medical but also cosmetic problems .
Varicose veins are common
Varicose veins are a common condition. Women suffer from it more than men; approximately 30% of women develop varicose veins in their lifetime compared to 15% of men.
Treatment of varicose veins according to the VNUS Closure procedure
There are various methods for treating varicose veins. The VNUS Closure procedure is the latest method for treating varicose veins. The VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive treatment and can serve as an alternative to traditional treatments for varicose veins, such as stripping where the varicose vein is removed in its entirety under general anesthesia, and laser therapy. The term minimally invasive treatment refers to medical treatments that use the least invasive means and methods to correct the condition. The VNUS Closure procedure produces less pain and less bruising compared to traditional treatment methods. The vein to be treated must be suitable for the new technique. Duplex examination (a combination of two types of examination: ultrasound and Doppler examination) can be used to determine whether this is the case.
How does the treatment work?
Under local anesthesia, a special treatment catheter is inserted into the vein to be treated through a 2 mm incision (a small cut in the skin). The correct position of the catheter is then determined using an ultrasound. High-frequency radio waves (RF) heat the end of the catheter in a controlled manner, causing the vessel wall to shrink and the vein to close. After the vein is cauterized, blood will be naturally rerouted through healthy veins. The procedure usually takes place within 30-45 minutes and is hardly painful. After the treatment, a pressure bandage or stocking will suffice, which can be removed after a day and a half. Patients can leave the hospital or outpatient clinic on their own two feet after treatment.
Benefits of the VNUS Closure procedure
The Closure procedure offers the following benefits for both patients and physicians:
Minimally invasive treatment
The VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that can be performed on an outpatient basis. A special treatment catheter is inserted into the vein to be treated through a small incision under local anesthesia. Surgery and general anesthesia are not necessary. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.
Less postoperative pain
It has been scientifically proven that there is less postoperative pain.¹ Complications occur quite rarely. A very small group of patients develop thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the veins) symptoms after treatment. Compared to traditional stripping and lasering, there is less pain after the treatment and the patient experiences less bruising and swelling. Randomized comparative studies have shown that patients can return to their daily activities more quickly after the VNUS Closure procedure than those treated by stripping, a procedure that is quite stressful and drastic.² After undergoing the VNUS Closure procedure, patients were able to resumed their daily activities for one day and after an average of one week they were able to resume their work again. Patient experiences about the VNUS Closure procedure are positive.
Excellent clinical results
The VNUS Closure procedure is very effective. It appears that more than 90% of patients are still free of complaints after 2 years. The long-term results show that this effect is still maintained after 5 years.
Because the VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive catheter-based treatment, it results in little to no scarring.
VNUS Closure procedure: reimbursement
On February 21, 2008, the Health Insurance Board (CVZ) decided to reimburse this new method for the treatment of varicose veins.
- Two randomized comparative trials of minimally invasive VNUS Closure procedure versus vein stripping prove the VNUS Closure procedure offers superior outcomes for patients; http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=109090
- Lurie, F, et al.Prospective randomized study of endovenous radiofrequency obliteration (Closure procedure) versus ligation and stripping in a selected patient population (EVOLVeS Study), J Vasc Surg 2003; 38(2):207-14.
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