The thought of treating varicose veins evokes a cringe response in most people. So much so that patients may suffer unnecessarily because they think that the only treatment option available to them is an invasive, painful surgical procedure. Fortunately, as techniques and technologies have advanced, a vein treatment is now available that is minimally invasive, non-thermal, requires no anesthesia and require Dr. Ted Fisher and his expert staff at Desert Aesthetic and Vein Centre are excited to offer their patients this revolutionary and effective new treatment for varicose veins.
What are Varicose Veins?
Aging, genetics, injury, weight gain and stressors on the legs can create added pressure on the walls of the veins and valves in the legs. This added stress and pressure can weaken the veins and valves, making them prone to blood leakage and pooling, thereby causing varicose veins
to develop. Varicose veins can look like worms under the skin, and are often bulging and painful, making everyday activities more difficult.
What is Vein Ablation?
Vein ablation is a description of a procedure by which diseased or incompetent veins are sealed by one of three mechanisms to cut off its access by the body’s circulation, redirecting blood back to healthy veins for the return of the blood to the central circulation for detoxification and oxygenation. The three methods of accomplishing this goal are: endovenous laser ablation, endovenous radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous
mechanicochemical ablation (ClariVein). Veins that are superficial and visible to the naked eye are sealed with a laser sclerotherapy device.
After you arrive at Desert Aesthetic and Vein Centre, Dr. Fisher will review your ultrasound and determine which procedure or combination of procedures that you need with you and answer your questions. The determination of the method of vein ablation that is used is strictly based on clinical parameters, and any questions regarding the choice of method can be discussed at that time.
ClariVein is one of the methods in which a specialty ablation catheter is used that combines mechanical and chemical vein treatment into one procedure to permanently seal an incompetent vein. The unique mechanical tip simultaneously spins a thin fiber while it dispenses a chemical sclerosant. The spinning tip irritates the lining of the vein, causing the vein to collapse, while the sclerosant causes the vein to close. Together, the mechanical and chemical actions effectively treat the varicose vein, destroying it so that the body can naturally reabsorb it over time.
Benefits of ClariVein
Patients and doctors alike appreciate the minimally-invasive nature of ClariVein. It is a proven treatment for varicose veins and has several advantages that contribute to overall patient safety, comfort and recovery:
- Can treat veins in the upper leg as well as below the knee
- No risk of nerve injury
- It is non-thermal, so there is less risk of damage to nearby tissues
- Does not strip the vein or require manual extraction of the vein
- No anesthesia
- Small entry point means no stitches and little or no scarring
- Procedure takes place in the comfort of our office
- Patients can walk immediately after the procedure
- Minimal downtime and recovery time
Potential Adverse Effects and Complications:
- Cord formation
- Blood clots
- Lidocaine allergy and/or toxicity
- Ablation failure
The ClariVein Procedure
To prepare for the procedure, the treatment area is sterilized and a numbing injection is administered at the insertion site. Once you are comfortable, ultrasound is used to locate the vein. When the vein is found, Dr. Fisher will make a pin-sized poke through your skin with an access needle. Then, a thin guidewire is threaded through the access needle and into the vein. Ultrasound will verify the correct placement of the guidewire, and the access needle is removed, leaving the guidewire in place.
Next, an introduction sheath is placed over the guidewire and into the vein. The guidewire and inner part of the sheath are removed, leaving the outer portion of the sheath in the vein. The ClariVein catheter is inserted into the sheath, and ultrasound is used to follow the catheter as it is threaded through the vein. Once the catheter is fully inserted in the vein, ultrasound is used to confirm proper placement before treatment begins. Then Dr. Fisher will attach the external end of the catheter to the ClariVein handle, which resembles an upsidedown hot glue gun.
Next, Dr. Fisher holds the ClariVein handle in his hand, and when ready, pushes a button on the handle to turn on the spinning fiber at the tip while simultaneously injecting sclerosant into the vein. He will remove the catheter at a rate of approximately one centimeter every seven seconds. This slow and steady process allows the spinning fiber to irritate the wall of the vein, causing it to collapse, while the sclerosant causes the vein to close.
Treatment continues down the length of the vein until the entire vein is treated and the catheter is removed. The treated vein will be given one final check with ultrasound to insure that no sclerosant has reached the central circulation. A steri-strip will then be placed over the small insertion point. Gauze is placed over the steri-strip, followed by a compression
stocking. The procedure lasts approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
Minimal Recovery and Downtime
We will have you walk around immediately after your procedure for twenty minutes to help the sclerosant process out of your lower extremities. Shortly after that, you can return home. Most patients immediately get back to their normal activities and work; however, you may
experience mild soreness, tingling, and swelling after the procedure.
These symptoms are common and are usually managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Wearing a compression stocking for the next two weeks following your procedure will diminish swelling and aid in healing. Although rare, some patients develop darkening of the skin in the treatment area.If you notice any unusual symptoms after your ClariVein procedure, call us so that we can assess your concerns and determine the best solution.
Is ClariVein Right for Me?
ClariVein may be the answer if you suffer from varicose veins in your lower leg, because other treatments may not be used below the knee. This procedure is a good option for veins that are close to a nerve, as it is non-thermal, so there is a low risk of nerve damage. Additionally, ClariVein is not an option for patients who have a lidocaine allergy or are sensitive to anesthesia, because neither lidocaine is needed to undergo the procedure
The best way to determine if ClariVein is right for you is to sit down for a consultation with Dr. Fisher. He will assess your problem veins, listen to your concerns and advise the best treatment plan for your varicose veins. To schedule a consultation, or to learn more about ClariVein, call Desert Aesthetic & Vein Centre today at 760-344-1101. Dr. Fisher and our experienced staff will help you get rid of unsightly, painful varicose veins and give you a new lease on life.