New Treatment Options for Spider Veins
Just in time for bathing suit weather, there are two new treatment options for those who have spider veins. A novel treatment modality called VeinGogh® uses microburst energy to ablate the smallest of spider veins without an injection. And after obtaining FDA approval, Polidocanol (a.k.a. Asclera®) is now available for use in the United States.
Maryland Vein Professionals is proud to offer VeinGogh® as a treatment option for fine spider veins. This is a new treatment modality for the finest of spider veins that have a reddish, thread-like appearance. On occasion these veins are too small for conventional cosmetic sclerotherapy, as these veins can be smaller than the sclerotherapy needles!
The VeinGogh treatment uses a technique called Ohmic Thermolysis to ablate the tiny skin veins. With this new treatment modality, a tiny microburst of energy is applied to the vein across the epidermis. This microburst is applied via a very thin, hair-like probe under direct visualization. This directed energy pulse causes the tiny vein to coagulate and collapse. The vein remnant is then reabsorbed by the body.
Patients have minor discomfort as the energy is applied and is comparable to, or in some cases less than that of, standard injection sclerotherapy. Patients describe the sensation as like a hair being plucked. Patients notice appearance changes immediately, although final visual results take a few weeks as the vessels are reabsorbed.
The cost of treatment is $1 per microburst energy pulse and we perform treatments in units of 50 pulses. Patients will require more or less pulse numbers depending on the density of the veins and, of course, individual results will vary. Patients usually complete a treatment session in less than 30 minutes and return immediately to activity.
At Maryland Vein Professionals we have been using VeinGogh since December and we have been pleased with the clinical results. Most patients have reported good satisfaction to date. We value this tool as a new stand-alone modality to treat the smallest of telangiectasia or spider veins. It also has value as an adjunct to standard sclerotherapy, which we will use to treat larger spider veins or those veins that are adding pressure to the fine reddish vessels targeted by the microburst energy pulse.
After many years of safe, effective use in Europe and other countries abroad, Polidicanol has now been cleared by the FDA for use as a Sclerosing Agent to treat spider veins. The medication is known as Asclera®. Sclerotherapy is a treatment whereby a medication called sclerosant is injected into spider veins. It is primarily a cosmetic treatment to clear the skin of unsightly small veins 1-3 mm in size.
In our practice, we perform many thousands of sclerotherapy sessions each year using the “Gold Standard” medication for this purpose, which is Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate (STS) Solution. Asclera offers patients another option to the traditional medication. While large clinical analysis and comparative studies are coming, there is some early data to suggest the new medication may have less discomfort and less post treatment effects, such as bruising and itching near the injection sites, than STS solution.
Before one seeks any form of cosmetic treatment for spider veins, it is important to evaluate for a deeper vein issue called insufficiency. If insufficiency is present, with symptoms such as aching, swelling, or fatigue, then the insufficiency should be treated with VNUS Closure. We commonly see patients with a deeper insufficiency condition who come to us after unsatisfactory cosmetic vein treatments.
Jonathan Calure, M.D. is the Surgeon in Chief of Maryland Vein Professionals. One of the first physicians in the region to perform VNUS, Closure, Dr. Calure is a nationally recognized leader in minimally invasive vein care, having performed more than 9,500 treatments to date. Dr. Calure is Board Certified in both General Surgery and Cardiovascular Surgery. Maryland Vein Professionals offers evaluation for vein disease at any of five locations, Columbia, Annapolis, Chevy Chase, Clarksville, and Gambrills. Schedule online at MDVeinProfessionals.com
Additional posts by Jonathan Calure
- Choosing a Vein Care Specialist, 09 Feb 2013 in Health & Wellness
- You Can Do Something About Your Varicose Veins, 08 Aug 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Early Treatment of Vein Disease: Why It’s Important, 29 Mar 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Ten Misconceptions About Varicose Veins, 31 Jan 2011 in Health & Wellness
- When Should I Seek Treatment for My Varicose Veins?, 02 Dec 2010 in Health & Wellness
- Why Do Varicose Veins Occur With Pregnancy?, 08 Oct 2010 in Health & Wellness
- How Can I Get Rid of My Varicose Veins?, 17 Aug 2010 in Health & Wellness
- Early Treatment of Vein Disease: Why It’s Important, 15 Jun 2010 in Health & Wellness
- An Interview with Dr. Calure of Maryland Vein Professionals, 28 Feb 2010 in Health & Wellness