Varithena is a new, non-thermal chemical ablation technique to treat vein disease. It is a proprietary mixture of polidocanol, oxygen and carbon dioxide that is sent to us ready to use. Mixing them in precise concentrations makes Varithena a very consistent, potent microfoam that can treat any malfunctioning vein in your leg. It is commonly used for veins above or below the knee, very tortuous veins, and veins that may not have responded to other forms of treatment. Varithena is the only FDA-approved foam treatment for varicose veins in the great saphenous vein system of the leg.
Almost anyone is a candidate for Varithena. You cannot have Varithena if you are allergic to polidocanol, which is the medicine in Varithena that destroys the vein.
When Varithena is injected into the targeted vein, the microfoam fills the vein and pushes the blood out. The polidocanol then creates an injury to the vein, which then collapses and is destroyed.
Each section will generally only need to be treated once. However, you may have several different veins in different parts of your leg that need treatment. This may require more than one visit to complete as there is a limit to how much Varithena can be injected in each session. This is so that there are no side effects from using too much Varithena.
- You can shower the night before or the day of your procedure, but do not apply lotions or oils to the leg being treated.
- Do not wear compression hose for two days prior to your procedure.
- For your first procedure, we highly recommend you bring a family member into the pre-op room to listen to the post-op instructions.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages 48 hours prior to your procedure. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which may cause the vein to shrink and the procedure to have to be postponed.
The day before your procedure:
- Increase your water intake to avoid dehydration.
The day of your procedure:
- Bring your compression hose with you as we will apply it after the procedure.
- Drink 24 ounces of water in the morning.
- Do not drink any caffeine or smoke before your procedure.
- Wear loose fitting pants or shorts and slip-on shoes.
- Eat a light meal prior to coming to the office.
- Take all your daily medications. Do not stop taking any of your prescription medications unless advised to do so by our physician. Continue to take any blood thinning medicines unless we tell you to stop them.
Depending on the vein to be treated, the doctor may numb your skin with a tiny injection and place an IV catheter into the vein. Other veins may be punctured and treated directly without the IV. Once the vein has been accessed, the microfoam is injected into the vein. The doctor may also use an ultrasound to monitor the placement and progression of the Varithena as it fills all the areas to be treated. In either case, you will not feel any pain as the Varithena is injected and treating your veins!
After your procedure has finished, we will apply a light dressing over any puncture sites and put your compression hose on. You will be allowed to walk as much as you like, but heavy exercise such as running, weightlifting and CrossFit are not allowed for one week. The compression hose must be worn 23 hours a day for up to 2 weeks. You may remove them for bathing and cleaning of the hose, but otherwise it is very important to wear them to assist in healing and to reduce the risk of blood clots. There generally is little to no pain, but some bruising and swelling may occur. These will disappear slowly over time as your body heals.
Once you have arrived for your treatment, the nurse will take you to the procedure room and answer any questions you may have. The doctor will then come in and you may ask any further questions. Your leg will then be cleansed, and the doctor will perform the procedure. It will generally take around 30 minutes to perform your procedure with Varithena. Veins treated with Varithena generally will not need to be treated again!
Most insurance companies will cover the Varithena procedure if you meet their medical criteria for treatment. Treatment criteria can include vessel reflux as determined by ultrasound, patient symptoms and/or compression therapy trial. Individual insurance companies may differ in their criteria for coverage of the treatments. Our nurses will work with you through the insurance submission process to assist you in getting the treatments that are medically necessary. Our financial advisor will help you determine what your insurance coverage is and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.
If you would like additional information, we offer a complimentary nurse consultation. During your personal consultation our nurses will go over all your treatment options and what you can expect before, during and after these treatments. They will also help you determine if vein disease is a possible cause for your symptoms. You can also meet with our financial advisor to determine insurance coverage.
If you are ready to begin treatment you can schedule a physician evaluation. During your evaluation our doctor will perform a medical exam, go over symptoms, and examine areas of concern to determine a treatment plan. Based on this examination they will order a diagnostic ultrasound done in an accredited lab supervised by radiologists who specialize in these tests. After your initial consultation and ultrasound, our nurses will submit your information to your insurance company to determine coverage. You can again schedule an appointment with our financial advisor to help you determine what your portion of the payments will be.
If you are not able to have Varithena, other treatments may be available. At Genesis Laser & Vein Center, we have all the latest thermal and non-thermal techniques to treat vein disease and will tailor your treatment to the best available option. In addition to Varithena, we offer endovenous laser therapy and VenaSeal closures. Compression Therapy can reduce the symptoms of venous disease and assist in healing ulcers. Sclerotherapy may also be effective for the larger refluxing veins.
It is our mission at Genesis Laser & Vein to offer the best approved treatment options for vein disease to our clients. We will continue to keep up to date on the latest recommendations of care so that you have the best options available.