The VNUS procedure (recently renamed Venefit) is performed on an outpatient basis. Using ultrasound guidance we will position the ClosureFast catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter, powered by radio frequency (RF) energy delivers heat to the vein wall. As the thermal energy is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and the vein is sealed closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood will re-route itself to other healthy veins.
Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site and a compression dressing is placed on the leg. We will encourage you to walk and to refrain from prolonged standing and strenuous activities for a short period of time.
VNUS ClosureFAST® allows for less postoperative pain and bruising than EVLT (laser therapy). VNUS ClosureFAST® is a minimally invasive, radiofrequency treatment for common varicose veins and associated symptoms such as pain and swelling.
There are many benefits to theVNUS ClosureFAST® Procedure over other treatment modalities, such as:
- Your procedure can be performed in our comfortable office setting
under a local anesthetic.
- The procedure is covered under most insurance plans.
- You will experience relief of symptoms as this procedure works by closing the diseased vein using radio frequency energy. Once a healthy vein takes over, your symptoms should improve noticeably.
- The ClosureFAST procedure is more convenient than stripping as you will be in and out of same day surgery and may require only local anesthesia or regional anesthesia to numb the area during treatment.
- The recovery time is much shorter with the ClosureFAST procedure and you should be able to resume your normal activities within 1 to 2 days.
- Most patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling following ClosureFAST procedure for an excellent cosmetic result.
What you may expect after your VNUS Closure Procedure
While the VNUS Closure procedure is a minimally invasive technique leaving almost no evidence of trauma or scaring at the skin surface, there is a modest amount of trauma to the veins beneath the skin surface. The procedure works by heating the inner lining of the vein to just over the boiling point of water, causing the vein to coagulate and begin the process of slowly digesting away. You will experience no pain from this heat because the area is numbed by the local anesthesia. As the anesthesia wears off over the subsequent 3-6 hours, you should expect to begin to feel some slight discomfort. The vast majority of patients find that over the counter pain medications (such as Ibuprophen) are usually all that is needed to manage this discomfort. If, however, you find you need something stronger, we are happy to call in a prescription for a stronger pain reliever. Most patients find that they can return to normal activity within 24 to 48 hours with minimal discomfort. Although the pain is different, it is usually less than what you have long suffered with your venous disease which should begin to diminish almost immediately… very positive trade off!
Over the next several days, you will begin to notice some swelling and minor tenderness along the course of the ‘closed vein’. It feels like a firm cord just beneath the skin, is mildly tender to the touch and sometimes slightly bruised. Patients sometimes complain that it feels like something is pulling or stretching inside. This is entirely normal. The tenderness may take a month or more to fully resolve however the firm cord will take 4-6 months to slowly shrink and disappear. There may also be some mild numbness of the skin in the area of treatment. It too will almost always resolve itself, and may take up to a year.
If you have also had ultrasound- guided injection sclerotherapy, this same phenomenon will occur although the firm ‘lumps’ will be more prominent because they are closer to the skin.
If you had phlebectomies, there will be small butterfly tapes over these small wounds. They may fall off in a few days.If not you can gently remove them if they remain on after 5 days.
Remember, this is a healing process that begins the day of the procedure and unfolds over a series of months. The relief of your original ‘venous pain’ occurs quickly and is usually dramatic. The healing process from the ‘coagulation’ of the vein(s) however takes a number of months. Any discomfort you may suffer will be very minor, and you should be back to full activities within a few days.