Varithena is an FDA approved method of closing leg veins with nonfunctional valves which cause chronic venous insufficiency along with the management of varicose veins. In some ways, the structure of veins is more complex than the arteries. Veins differ from arteries in an important aspect, they need functioning valves to maintain the normal direction of blood flow. Normally, these valves only allow blood to flow in one direction, back to the heart. When the valves fail or are incompetent, a condition known as venous reflux, there is abnormal vein function. In the leg, this causes blood to pool and have trouble returning to the heart. Untreated, this leads to degeneration of the veins. Venous reflux can progress to cause itching, pain, restless legs, swelling, discoloration and even ulcer formation of the skin.
Most people with vein problems have dysfunction of the superficial system, which includes what is known as the truncal veins. These include the long saphenous and the short saphenous veins that travel from the groin to the inside of the ankle and from the back of the calf up to the knee. The non-truncal superficial veins are those that one can commonly see on the surface of the leg. Dysfunction of the valves of the superficial veins can lead to progressive varicose, reticular and spider veins along with symptoms of itching, pain, swelling, restless legs, skin changes and ulceration. Sometimes clotting can occur within the superficial veins that on occasion can extend into the deeper veins causing DVT. These complications may be prevented with proper treatment.
There are multiple FDA approved, minimally invasive office based options in dealing with vein valve problems of the saphenous veins. They all rely on closing the vein with the valve problems, causing the blood to redirect into the deeper, normal veins. The Venefit or VNUS Closure procedure uses a catheter inserted into the vein which heats the vein wall and cauterizes it closed. Clarivein uses a catheter that creates a mild mechanical injury to the vein with a rotating fine wire and the use of a liquid sclerosant drug to injure the vein and close it. Varithena is the simplest method using a foam sclerosant to close the vein.
How Varithena® works
- The doctor administers a small amount of Varithena® through a catheter or by direct injection into the malfunctioning vein
- The Varithena® microfoam fills and treats the desired section of the vein
- The diseased vein collapses and the microfoam is deactivated
- When the malfunctioning vein collapses, blood flow shifts to healthier veins nearby
The advantage of Varithena is that it can be used in veins that are very tortuous or twisty, and close to the skin, that can not have the other procedures. NJ VeinCare is now offering Varithena as another option in vein management!