About the VNUS Closure Procedure
The VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive alterative to vein stripping for varicose veins & venous insufficiency. The Closure Vein Therapy procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at Heart Care Centers' Palos Park Vein Center, in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The treatment takes less than an hour and provides immediate relief of many symptoms. You can return to normal activity with little or no pain.
The "Closure System" has been developed and extensively tested to treat superficial venous reflux. The Closure procedure provides the benefits of stripping without the many drawbacks. Patients thus avoid an invasive surgical procedure, general anesthesia, post-operative pain, bruising and prolonged recovery.
The patented Closure technology uses a very small catheter and radio frequency energy to occlude, or seal shut, the saphenous vein. The procedure is ideal for the outpatient setting, and is most often performed in a physician's office.
The physician typically makes a single needle puncture near the knee, inserts a slender catheter into the saphenous vein and positions it near the top of the leg. The catheter is then energized and slowly withdrawn, sealing the vein shut. There are no stitches and most patients return to normal activity within a day or two. Side effects are unusual, but can include numbness or tingling, local skin irritation, and temporary tenderness in the treated area.
The procedure consists of four principal steps:
1. Map the Saphenous Vein: A typical procedure begins with noninvasive ultrasound imaging of the diseased vein to trace its location. This allows the physician to determine the site where the Closure catheter will be inserted and to mark the desired position of the catheter tip to begin treatment.
2. Insert the Closure Catheter: After the physician accesses the saphenous vein, the Closure catheter is inserted into the vein and advanced to the uppermost segment of the vein. The physician then typically injects a mild anesthetic into the area surrounding the vein. This numbs the leg and helps squeeze blood out of the vein. Saline is then slowly infused into the vein from the tip of the catheter to create a near-bloodless field inside the vein, allowing the catheter to preferentially heat
the vein wall, rather than the blood.
3. Deliver RF Energy: Noninvasive ultrasound is used to confirm the catheter tip position and the physician then activates the RF generator, causing the electrodes at the tip of the catheter to heat the vein wall. As the vein wall is heated, the vein shrinks and the catheter is gradually withdrawn. During catheter pullback, the culprit vein is closed over an extended length.
4. Confirm Closing of Vein: After treatment, ultrasound imaging is used to confirm closing of the vein. If a portion of the vein is not closed, the catheter can be reinserted and energy reapplied. After the procedure, the narrowed vein gradually becomes fibrous, sealing the interior of the vein walls and naturally redirecting blood flow to healthy veins. Our experienced physicians routinely complete this procedure in under an hour.
See a short Closure Procedure animation video.
How Successful is the Vein Ablation Procedure?
There is a 93-95% success rate. This is a much higher efficacy rate than surgical ligation or vein stripping. In fact, 98% of patients who have undergone the Closure procedure are willing to recommend it to a friend or family member.
Physicians generally instruct their patients to walk regularly for several days after the Closure procedure and return within 72 hours for an ultrasound examination. Physicians may prescribe compression stockings to be worn for several days or weeks after the procedure. Compression stockings are prescribed as a routine item for vein procedures with the goal of enhancing patient comfort in the initial days after treatment.
Patients who undergo the Closure procedure typically resume normal activities within a day.
Does Insurance Cover Non-surgical Vein Treatment?
Many insurance carriers cover this effective treatment for venous insufficiency, based on medical necessity for symptom relief.
Vein Closure Procedure Highlights
- Relief of symptoms
- Outpatient procedure
- Resume activities typically within a day
- Good cosmetic outcome with minimal or no scarring, bruising, or swelling
As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the Closure procedure.