More than 40 million people in the United States suffer from painful, ropy varicose veins. Varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure in the venous system and are most common in veins near the skin’s surface.

In healthy veins, blood moves toward the heart with the help of tiny one-way valves. When these valves become weakened or damaged, blood flows backward and pools inside the vein, causing them to swell.

Today, painful vein stripping methods have been replaced by newer, minimally invasive treatment options like endovenous radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, and a new ablation adjunctive procedure utilizing Varithena.

Virginia Vein Care is proud to use Varithena for men and women who suffer from varicose veins. Here is information about this procedure, including what it is, how it works, the benefits, and expectations before and after treatment.

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What is Varithena?

Varithena® (polidocanol injectable foam) is a non-surgical, non-thermal, non-tumescent, carbon dioxide-infused foam utilized in specific ablation procedures. It is used to minimize the appearance of unsightly varicose veins caused by problems in the great saphenous vein (GSV), the longest vein in the body. It is one of the most popular and effective varicose vein treatment options. At Virginia Vein Care, it’s usually used as an adjunct to other ablation procedures. However, it’s important to note that this procedure is not a cure for varicose veins, and its effects may not be permanent.

How Does Varithena Work?

The Varithena technique uses an FDA-approved sclerosing foam to close abnormal veins and restore healthy circulation.

Before treatment, your doctor will cleanse and numb the injection site. Next, he will inject a small amount of the Varithena foam solution into the vein, which acts as an irritant. Once injected, the affected vein collapses, and blood flow reroutes to healthier, nearby veins. Compression stockings are typically required for ten days following treatment to ensure proper healing.

Depending on how many varicose veins you need to treat, two or more Varithena procedures may be required. However, depending on your particular clinical situation, they should be separated by a minimum of five days to avoid excessive discomfort or bruising.

Benefits of Varithena

Varithena is a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates the risk of neurological side effects associated with other varicose vein treatments. (Though rare, transient ischemic insufficiency is associated with the use of air-foamed sclerotherapy. Additional benefits include:

  • Varithena is considered the least traumatic type of varicose vein treatment, even when compared to ClariVein and VenaSeal.
  • Varithena is fast and simple. The procedure is approximately 10 minutes and does not require anesthesia of any kind.
  • Varithena reduces the appearance of varicose veins immediately. Leg pain is alleviated as well.
  • Most major health insurance plans cover Varithena.

Recovery & After Care

Your vein care specialist will apply bandages and a compression stocking to the treated area immediately following treatment. Compression stockings must be worn for approximately 12 days, and your vein care specialist will provide specific instructions.

Risks of Varithena

As with any medication you take, there are potential risks. Possible side effects of Varithena are mild but may include:

  • Discomfort at or near the injection site,
  • Numbness or tingling at or near the injection site,
  • Tenderness, warmth, or an itching sensation near the injection site,
  • And increased hair growth on the treated leg.
  • Discoloration or discomfort along the path of the treated vein. Follow-up with your vein specialist will alleviate this issue.

Are painful, bulging, varicose veins stopping you from living life the way you want? Ask your provider to refer you to a Virginia Vein Care location to find out if the use of Varithena is right for you. Our specialists have extensive experience with several non-surgical and minimally invasive vein treatment options.