Treatments for varicose veins (VIII): new “inventions”

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InventosIn the continued effort we scientists do for medical research, and trying to provide increasingly better and less problematic solutions to our patients, new techniques are continually being developed, but some of them either have not yielded the expected results, or for any reason they have not received enough interest from vascular surgeons and have fallen by the wayside. In other cases, they are still experimental techniques or have not yet yielded enough studies about their efficacy and safety to broadly recommend them, and for that reason I’ll just mention their names in a list below (a list that for sure will be incomplete because of the great variety and their ongoing development).

Regarding all these inventions, I would like to share a common idea: at the time of writing this post, none of them showed yet to provide enough advantage in terms of risk / benefit over the other techniques already discussed above. Should you be offered a solution like this, my best advice is first to ensure that the doctor (who is going to perform it) is a truly specialized vascular surgeon who is specially trained in that particular procedure, and demand a clear explanation of what is the advantage he expects to offer you comparing to a more conventional technique. If it is an experimental technique, you have the right to be aware of it, and to freely decide whether or not to accept to be part of the study, and to be rigorously informed of all risks and benefits: experimental studies and clinical trials are worldwide subject to very strict legislation and regulations on how they should be carried out, in order to assure in the best possible way the patient’s rights and especially patient safety. If the proposed treatment is not presented under these conditions, I would advise you to reject it and seek a more conventional solution.

Some of this “inventions” are:

  • Cryotherapy: endoluminal ablation of veins by means of application of extreme cold through the catheter tip to freeze the vein.

  • Water steam sclerotherapy: varicose veins are occluded by injecting water steam (delivering heat) inside of them.

  • ClariVein®: another catheter-based endoluminal technique that combines mechanical injury of the internal part of the vein with injection of sclerosing foam. It is still on its first phases (not yet widely used), still with little experience and short follow up results.

  • VenaSeal®: another catheter-based endoluminal technique, this time injecting glue (literally glue, in concrete a product derived from cyanoacrylate, broadly known in Do-It-Yourself drugstores as Loctite®) inside the vein to occlude it. Also still with little experience and without enough good-quality reliable studies yet.

  • Subfascial endoscopic perforator surgery (SEPS): this one seems to be useful for healing of venous ulcers in very specific cases, but there are few vascular surgeons really experienced in performing it (because there are also very few of these specific cases that could benefit from this).

  • Restorative Phlebotherapy and T.R.A.P. (Three-dimensional regenerative ambulatory Phlebotherapy): it pretends to “heal” or regenerate the varicose veins returning them back to healthy state through low-dose sclerosing injections or even by “injections of light” (sic). I have not been able to find even a single reliable scientific publication about it, which does only not inspire any confidence on it, but makes it especially untrustworthy, and highly suspicious of being a fraud.

 

Portada-VARICOSEIf you are interested in further knowledge about this disease, its causes, consequences, how it can be treated and, even better, how are we able to prevent it, you have everything explained in a very friendly and easy way in the book VARICOSE VEINS: truth & myths.

 


 

Jorge Molina
Dr. Jorge Molina is a Spanish doctor specialized in Angiology, Vascular Surgery and Cosmetic Medicine. He is currently residing in Abu Dhabi (UAE), and works as a Consultant and Head of Vascular Surgery and Wound Care Departments in Healthpoint hospital, in Zayed Sport City, Abu Dhabi. He is the author and editor of “Medicine Made Easy”, a book collection aimed to disclose medical topics of interest to the general public in an easy and friendly manner.

 

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One Response to Treatments for varicose veins (VIII): new “inventions”

  1. Chupacabras says:

    Most complications occur due to an intense inflammatory reaction to the sclerotherapy agent in the area surrounding the injected vein. In addition, there are systemic complications that are now becoming increasingly understood. These occur when the sclerosant travels through the veins to the heart, lung and brain. A recent report attributed a stroke to foam treatment,

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