VNUS Closure: What the Studies Show

Written By Tony Carabasi III, MD, FACS

Radiofrequency vein ablation, known as VNUS Closure, has replaced surgical methods of varicose vein treatment for many patients today. This procedure uses radiofrequency energy, delivered directly into the swollen vein, to seal the vein closed so it will collapse and disappear from view. The procedure is minimally-invasive, which means you can enjoy vein-free legs without significant discomfort or downtime. Still unconvinced VNUS Closure is the right vein procedure for you? Check out what scientists have discovered about this revolutionary vein treatment.

Success Rates
Numerous clinical studies have been done on the effectiveness of VNUS Closure and all have shown promising results. Success rates for the procedure have been over 90 percent both one year and two years after the procedure was completed. Patient satisfaction with the procedure during this time frame has also been shown to be very high, compared with other methods of varicose vein treatment including the surgical procedure known as vein stripping.

A study published in the June 2002 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery found that vein ablation was comparable to vein stripping in terms of elimination of varicose veins. The study looked at 286 patients that received RF vein ablation, evaluating them 12 months and 24 months after their procedure. This study found patient satisfaction was at 94.5 percent two years after treatment.

VNUS Closure vs. Vein Stripping
Comparisons of VNUS Closure to surgical vein stripping have found that VNUS Closure is superior to vein stripping both in terms of results and patient experience. Vein stripping is an invasive procedure that removes varicose veins from the legs. It may be performed in the hospital under local or general anesthesia. Many patients require at least one overnight in the hospital after the vein stripping procedure and would be out of commission in terms of work and other activities for a number of weeks.

Two studies, one published in the August 2003 Journal of Vascular Surgery and another published in the January 2004 Journal of Vascular Surgery found that VNUS Closure is the “ideological opposite” of vein stripping, offering positive results while minimizing changes to blood flow in the lower leg. The studies also determined that there were “significant early advantages” to RF ablation, as well as higher rates of patient satisfaction one and two years after surgery.

VNUS Closure vs. EVLT
Some studies have also indicated VNUS Closure is a superior treatment to endovenous laser ablation or EVLT for some patients. One study in particular, known as the RECOVERY Study, found that radiofrequency ablation was preferred over laser ablation in terms of comfort after the procedure and rate of complications after treatment. Success of the procedures has been very similar.

EVLT works on varicose veins by heating the vessels from the inside to a very high temperature. While this is effective in destroying the varicose vein, it can also have a slightly higher risk of damage to surrounding skin and tissue. EVLT’s results have also been found to be somewhat less consistent than VNUS Closure results.

While VNUS Closure has been shown to be a superior varicose vein treatment in numerous clinical studies, it is not the right choice for everyone. At Center for Vein Restoration, we offer a variety of treatments in addition to VNUS Closure that allow us to customize each patient’s treatment to their unique needs and situation. Because Dr. Carabasi is experienced in all types of vein treatments, including VNUS Closure, EVLT, sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy, patients enjoy the best possible results regardless of the treatment recommended to them.

If you are suffering from varicose veins, there is a treatment for you. To learn more, contact Center for Vein Restoration.

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