If you have bulging varicose veins on your legs that bother you either physically or aesthetically, you may be a good candidate for Varithena, a revolutionary treatment for varicose veins caused by venous insufficiency.
What is Varithena?
Varithena is a foam suspension of a medication called polidocanol. This medication is used to treat varicose veins in a minimally invasive way in the office. Treatment involves injection of Varithena through a tiny needle directly into the problematic veins.
As injection of Varithena is performed under ultrasound guidance, it is in essence a type of ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. Also known as microfoam chemical ablation, this approach can be used as an alternative or supplement to other methods of treatment for venous insufficiency.
How does Varithena work?
When Varithena is injected into veins, it stops blood flow and fully blocks the vein. The medicine then works on the wall of the vein and causes the vein to seal off. Blood flow is then redirected to normal veins in the leg. Over time the treated vein is absorbed into the body and disappears. Treatment with Varithena can diminish symptoms of venous insufficiency and can help to improve the cosmetic appearance of the legs.
Advantages and Benefits of the Varithena Procedure
There are multiple advantages to Varithena®:
- Minimally invasive
- No incisions
- Little to no anesthetic needed
- Good option to treat tortuous winding veins
- Safe to use below the knee
- Reduces symptoms of venous insufficiency
- Reduces the appearance of varicose veins
- Often effective in treating stubborn veins that didn’t respond to other treatments.
Is Varithena® FDA-Approved?
Varithena® is the sole FDA-approved foam varicose vein treatment for incompetence of the great saphenous vein (GSV), accessory saphenous veins, and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein system above and below the knee.
What is a Varithena Treatment like?
The treatment is very easy to undergo. After your leg is cleansed, a small needle is advanced under ultrasound guidance into the problematic vein. The medicine is then injected into the vein. One or more veins may be treated in the same session. After the treatment is complete a compression stocking is placed on your leg and you are free to go.
The Varithena® procedure can last from anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour. While some Varithena® patients need only a single treatment session, others require more than one treatment to achieve optimal results.
What to Expect after Varithena
After treatment with Varithena your leg will be placed in a compression stocking. You are typically asked to walk for ½ hour, to help distribute the medication through the leg. You are then free to go about most normal activities.
During the first week after treatment, it is best to refrain from high intensity exercise, weightlifting and hot yoga. It is also advised to avoid saunas, spas and hot baths. Beyond one week, you are free to resume all activities without restrictions.
As you recover, it is not uncommon to develop areas of mild tenderness which may be firm to the touch. This represents successfully treated clotted veins and may be seen anywhere from a few days to several weeks after treatment. If this occurs, it resolves with time.
In areas where varicose veins near the surface of the skin have been treated with Varithena, you may develop brownish discoloration of the skin where the vein was treated. This is known as hyperpigmentation. If this happens it typically diminishes over time.
Some patients require more than one treatment with Varithena to successfully close all target veins. Additional treatments of residual varicose veins with microphlebectomies and/or ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy are often needed to get the best results.
Does My Insurance Cover Varithena®?
Varithena chemical ablation for varicose veins is covered by insurance in many instances. Whether or not you are covered depends upon multiple factors, including your history, physical exam, ultrasound findings and your particular insurance plan. To know for sure if your insurance may cover treatment, a formal consultation and ultrasound is necessary.
Am I a good candidate for Varithena?
If you have varicose veins that cause discomfort, leg heaviness, leg fatigue, or are just bothering you aesthetically, you may be a good candidate for Varithena chemical ablation. The only way to know for sure if this is a good option for you is to have an evaluation with a vein expert.
To Learn More
If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your varicose veins or are tired of the way they make your legs feel, and are looking for an effective solution, Contact our office and arrange a consultation with Dr. Rayman.
During your helpful consultation, the two of you will discuss your medical history. Dr. Rayman will then perform a thorough evaluation of your veins. With many years of experience and expertise in a wide range of treatment options, he will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for Varithena, or if there is a better treatment to best help you achieve your treatment goals.